Hose Heroes?

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Cops (enforcers of the law) are far from “heroic” . . .  but what about firemen?fire heroes leade

Are they “heroes”?

People are taught – pressured – to regard them as such. It has become an almost religious fetish – very much like cop worship. But the image and the reality are two very different things – in both cases.

Like cops, firemen rely on force. And when someone can legally use force to get their way, they tend to become arrogant, entitled and increasingly contemptuous of those whom they “serve.”

Does this sound, er . . . familiar?

You are probably forced to pay for fire “services” in your community. Just as you are forced to “help” pay for law enforcement, even if you yourself feel no need for either service and would rather opt-out, if that choice were available to you. But of course, you have no such choice. And because you (and others) are forced to pay, there is no check on what is spent. The formerly small-scale local all-volunteer FD becomes professional – with salaried full-time firefighters who have contracts guaranteeing them large salaries and, of course, benefits. Multiple ladder trucks and other such vehicles appear – the costs shuffled onto the backs of the taxpayers in the area – who no longer have much, if any, say as regards the need for all this elaborate (and often, over-the-top) equipment. Since appearances must be maintained, all this elaborate, over-the-top equipment is often sent out en masse to cat-in-a-tree calls, with much show of emergency lights, special costumes, cones being set up and traffic stopped in its tracks.hero hose man 2

The FD becomes another services-at-gunpoint bureaucracy – and the primary mission of any bureaucracy is to preserve and perpetuate itself, expanding itself if possible. The fighting of fires becomes of secondary or even tertiary importance.

Firemen do more than merely fight fires, too.

They also write and enforce fire codes – bureaucratic edicts dictating to a private business owner how many customers he may serve in “his” (in quotes to emphasis the irony)  establishment. If the owner balks, the fire hero will summon other heroes – heroes with guns – to enforce compliance. Whether a building is a “fire hazard” – as defined by a fire hero – is not the issue. The issue is whether the building is private property – and whether the fire hero – or any other hero – has any right to impose his standards on the putative owner of the private property. If it is in fact his property, isn’t it up to him to gauge risk – and assume responsibility for same? Whence – how? – did it become the prerogative of Fire Fuhrers to overlord private property?

Firemen have also been known to prevent actual heroics. For instance, there was a case recently where a man was forcibly restrained by firemen and prevented from attempting to save his child, who was trapped inside a burning house. Ryan Miller was Tazered for “disobeying the orders of fire officials” who decided on his behalf that the life of his three-year-old stepson was not worth attempting to save. When Ryan ignored them, ” the fire chief then made the call to have Ryan handcuffed and taken to the police station” . .  (see news story here).

Whether the man’s actions put him at risk of being hurt or even killed is beside the point. No, it is precisely the point. The man’s life was his to risk for the sake of his child, if he wished to accept that risk. The firemen at the scene – whose own children were safe in their beds – understandably did not wish to risk being burned alive to save someone else’s child (which would have been heroic). But how dare they prevent – forcibly prevent – a free man (sic) from attempting to save his own child?

Or his cat, for that matter.

The same arrogance that characterizes cop also suffuses the mindset of Hose Heroes. They know best – and it is our duty to step out of the way, defer to them, and do as ordered.hero hose man 2

Or – and this is key – else.

If these fire fuhrers restricted themselves to offering help there would be no problem. But they do not confine themselves to merely offering.

They now insist.

Who does that remind you of?

And what does it tell you about the nature of their “services”?

When you are no longer free to say, “no thanks” to any service, then it is not a service but a racket. Whether it does some good is beside the point. The essential cretinhood of mobsters like Lucky Luciano – and more recently, Pablo Escobar –  is not transformed into something benevolent because they occasionally helped out a deserving neighborhood kid. Just as occasionally catching an actual criminal (someone who has harmed another human being) in no way washes away the sin of abusing people over manufacturered “crimes” such as possessing an arbitrarily illegalized substance or verboten tool (such as a “high capacity” rifle magazine). Just as occasionally putting out a fire doesn’t make amends for shuttering a business on the basis of a “code violation” and violently assaulting a man for attempting to rescue his child from a blaze.

It all comes down to you’ve gotta have it – and do as we tell you  . . . or else.

There is no legitimate reason for community fire services to exist on other than a voluntary/free-exchange basis. Just like dairy farms or restaurants or any another other provider of an ostensibly valuable service.hose heroes 3

If a service is objectively valuable to people, they shouldn’t have to be forced to support it. They’ll do so freely – because it’s worth it to them. Starbucks does not need guns or threats to get people to buy Tall Bold coffees – even at $2 a pop.

When people are forced to buy in, it’s a clue that the service is not really valuable – much less “essential” (as fire and cop shops are often characterized).

And when people are threatened with violence without having done violence to anyone else first, then what we’re dealing with is tyrannical.

Throw it in the Woods? 

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  1. Carl Menger: The Founder of the Austrian School (1840-1921)

    Money is not an invention of the state. It is not the product of a legislative act. The sanction of political authority is not necessary for its existence. – Carl Menger

    Water-Diamond Paradox finally solved by Carl Menger, after failing to be explained by Adam Smith, Nicolaus Copernicus, and John Locke.

    There are nearly inexhaustible facets of pre-Socratic Greek society which have major economic implications.

    The discovery of technology for mining and smelting the metals, the alloying of tin from England with copper from Cyprus to make the improved copper-base allow which we call bronze, the development of ships large enough to carry loads of tin and other heavy materials, as well as cattle and sheep imported into Greece for local breeding from Tyre and Colchis respectively.

    The importation of the convenient Phoenician alphabet to replace the lost Minoan script – all these matters can be elicited from the tangled web of the fabric which we call Greek Mythology.

    Poseidon’s bull and the Argonautic Golden Fleece represent important stages in economically important animal breeding, and deserve a place in the annals of early history, alongside of the charmingly literary tales into which they are woven.

    Medicine and psychology each deserve a separate chapter in this vein of historical archeology, along with the curious inability of the major Homeric heroes, from Heracles to Achilles, to convert their great powers to coherent social behavior.

    After the last glacial retreat, which occurred some twelve thousand years ago, humankind went into a remarkable fast escalation in a dozen directions, which produced the whole fabric we call Civilization.

    When large numbers of people begin to over-produce, that is, make more that what they personally need, we begin to accrue surpluses, which immediately lead to trade. Barter may be complex in its processes, but it is intellectually simple, since it proceeds with what are arbitrary but always balanced equations.

    But when we begin to evolve complex economic situations, in which the equations are balanced by considerations which lie outside the items which are being exchanged, we enter the world of true economics.

    Shortages of food or cloth, the need for tin from England to alloy copper from Cyprus to make bronze which will be sold in Denmark, opportunities to accrue capital in cash from deals prompted by famine, greed and a self-growing set of economic parameters – these are factors which began to emerge by the fifth millennium B.C., and changed the whole notion of what a society and a nation and an empire could be like.

    Nothing like this had ever occurred before, in all the hundreds of millennia since man appeared as a Human Being. Now for the first time Man the hunter and gatherer is hard pressed by Homo Faber, man the fabricator and engineer.

    And they are both eclipsed in the fast ensuing millennia by a new breed of clever, useful, effective and often unscrupulous fellow, who can best be called Homo Economicus.

    He is clearly the man of the present world we live in, like him or not, we seem to be unable to do without him, and apparently we desperately need the skills he has. He is certainly in terms of the civilizations we have put up throughout the world, the man of the future.

    Trade and Barter in Ancient Greece

    Carl Menger’s Economics of Well-Being: Almost Objectivism

  2. Move along, nothing to see here, John_Allen,

    Only the most dishonorable cognitively dissonant psychopath disgraces his dead father as part of a ruse to provoke strangers into violent responses.

    There are plenty of forums where suicidal heroes with loose screws gather to contemplate blowing their heads off with their fellow brothers in arms.

    First Responder Support Network

    Tears of a Cop

    Stop Soldier Suicide

    You won’t your judge, jury, nor executioners here. Nor any respect where none has been earned.

    • “Only the most dishonorable cognitively dissonant psychopath disgraces his dead father as part of a ruse to provoke strangers into violent responses.”

      I had not considered that perspective.
      No wonder I felt so reluctant to comment about it.
      I should have just ignored it.
      What was that another fella said, “I feel so dirty…”.

      • Dear Helot,
        I probably should just ignore troll bait as well. Not sure what benefit my bull runs through Eric’s china shop are bringing.

        There’s an art to being a fun curmudgeon and not merely a pedantic nor argumentative curmudgeon.

  3. I fully agree with you, regarding TWD. I find it extremely troubling the actors don’t spontaneously organize and build structures to contain all the walkers.

    A difficult task, but once that is accomplished, normalcy returns. Human values would also make a resurgence, since humanoid creatures would no longer be viciously slaughtered.

    In the TWD universe, a child is born, a child dies, a child enters a secondary very long life of low brain activity and gradual decay, a child finally disintegrates and ceases to exist.

    The Fall of the Athenian Republic – AFT

    Alexander Fraser Tytler

    — — — —
    One way forward from this memory hole madness, may be to repopularize the concept of the “myriad” (☼)

    We can reckon history and time in a five digit year. Today is March 12014☼. 1 myriad of years, 2 millenia of years, 1 ten of years, and 4 years.

    No more Socratic, Roman, Christian, or Muslim confusion to deal with. Just a full consideration of all human history, without any memory holes.


    [5 digit year dates☼]
    proto-Chinese millet agriculture is radiocarbon-dated to about 03000☼. Farming gave rise to the Jiahu culture 03000☼ to 04200☼. At Damaidi in Ningxia, 3,172 cliff carvings dating to 04000☼–05000☼ have been discovered, “featuring 8,453 individual characters such as the sun, moon, stars, gods and scenes of hunting or grazing.

    These pictographs are the earliest characters confirmed to be written Chinese. Excavation of a Peiligang culture site in Xinzheng county, Henan, found a community that flourished in 04500☼–05100☼, with evidence of agriculture, constructed buildings, pottery, and burial of the dead.

    With agriculture came increased population, the ability to store and redistribute crops, and the potential to support specialist craftsmen and administrators. In late Neolithic times, the Yellow River valley began to establish itself as a center of Yangshao culture 05000☼ to 07000☼, and the first villages were founded. Later, Yangshao culture was superseded by the Longshan culture, which was also centered on the Yellow River from about 7000☼ to 8000☼.

    Paleolithic history of China

    A myriad (from Ancient Greek μυριάδες, myriades) is the number ten thousand; the term is commonly used in translations from Greek, Latin, or Chinese, or when talking about ancient numbers.

    The Aegean numerals of the Minoan and Mycenæan civilizations included a single unit to denote tens of thousands. It was written ☼.

    In Classical Greek numerals, a myriad was written as a capital mu: Μ.

    The etymology of the word myriad itself is uncertain: it has been variously connected to meu- in reference to the waves of the sea and to Greek myrmex (μύρμηξ, “ant”) in reference to their swarms.

    The largest number named in Ancient Greek was the myriad myriad (written MM) or hundred million.

    In his Sand Reckoner, Archimedes of Syracuse used this quantity as the basis for a numeration system of large powers of ten, which he used to count grains of sand.

    The Sand Reckoner

    Leaving aside other ancient cultures, including those who today are called the Chinese:

    In most ways, Western culture peaked rather early, around the time of the introduction of precious metal coins, philosophy, and science to Western thought in the year 09014☼

    Since then, there have been powerful systems and collective advances, but no individuals that can be said to have surpassed these men from 3000 years ago.

  4. When my 83-years old father, who had been playing tennis all his adult life, had a cardiac arrest on the tennis court, I was delighted that two off-duty paramedics were playing on an adjacent court. They didn’t have any gear but they Knew What To Do. He survived and went on to live almost ten more active years. Can I prove the ff were the direct cause of his excellent outcome? No, but you can’t prove they weren’t.

    I decry people being compelled to do anything, by allegedly superior intellects making their choices for them. With the coercion extending to paying for it.

    Let’s see now … speed limits are only there to hinder superior beings from tearing down the road at 100 mph in the confident expectation that “you can handle it.”

    Fire fighters are to be disrespected because they “infringe on a business owner’s right” to pack 200 people into a space designed for 80. Dude, how often does the heroic business owner suffer any harm at all from ff compared to how many times does a fire department in that county or city make someone’s life better?

    I”m generally with you but I get tired of you reaching for any excuse you can find to whine about somebody or some thing.

    Tell you what. Send your local fire department a notarized statement that you eschew their services. Whether your visiting mother-in-law is having a coronary at 0300 or from whatever reason your home is burning down … you will valiantly handle it yourself.

    For once, put up or shut up.

    • Dear Clover, er I mean, “John_Allen”. If I could send to my local fire department a notarized statement.. blah blah blah, I would. But they won’t hear of it.

      What do you think of that?

      Do you know what a state enforced monopoly means?

      A notarized statement? They – Won’t – Hear – of – it.

      You claim that two off-duty paramedics “saved” your fathers life on a tennis court.

      Well, La-Dee-Da. it’s likely I could do the same dang thing but I ain’t no danged paramedic suckup. I would know What To Do. It ain’t Nothing Special. So I guess your anecdotal example proves jack shit?

      The refrain of the bully thug goes something like this: “how many times does a fire department in that county or city make someone’s life better?”

      If only people let themselves be bullied by the assholes at the Top, “life is better”?
      Ahh, yeah. Spoken like a true tyrant.
      Yurtle the Turtle is your hero?

      I generally refrain from telling people this, but in your case, I think the exception is warranted:
      Shut The Fuck Up, “John_Allen”, you’re a puppet of puppets.
      Or, you work for them.
      Which is it?
      And,.. think about it.
      …I pity you.

      • “Helot” is it? Awww, did I gore your ox … question your favorite dogma? I must have. You’re crying like a child.

        And anyone who doesn’t mouth the company line is a “clover?” I must be … your patron thinks so, so you do.

        I would have been just as happy if two off duty dunkin doughnuts employees leapt in with the CPR. He was one of the small fraction for whom on-site CPR allowed a positive outcome.

        I laugh at you, “Helot.” What have you done for liberty lately except come here and run your yap among the like minded? That’s brave of you boy.

        I’d love to meet you for a “frank exchange of views.” We’d see who pities whom.

        • Dear John Allen,

          You asked Helot “What have you done for liberty lately… ”

          I can tell you what Helot hasn’t done.

          He hasn’t contributed to the tragic erosion of liberty in America by relentlessly rationalizing brute force coercion in the name of “public safety.”

          He hasn’t turned a blind eye to the intrinsic evil of resorting to violence or the threat of violence to achieve “the greater good.”

          You wrote, “I’d love to meet you for a “frank exchange of views.” We’d see who pities whom.”

          In case you’ve forgotten, this is a public forum. Anyone online can read what you wrote.

          You threatened to physically attack and beat a person who dared to disagree with you. You revealed a serious defect in your character. More to the point, you provided a clear demonstration of the thuggish mentality of the fascist state, whose first impulse is to crush dissent by means of brute force rather than reach an accord by means of calm reason.

          Think about that for a moment before you start typing a “rebuttal.”

          • Bevin – As much as you and I agree on many points, I have to correct you. John_Allen did not threaten to physically attack and beat Helot. As any good cop would do, he carefully phrased it that he’d “love” to meet Helot for “a frank exchange of views.” And then continued the implication with “We’d see who pities whom.” But at no time was there ever a physical threat, whatever we might choose to read into it.

            Now, Mr. John_Allen may very well have reason to be “cocky.” Maybe he’s a big bad body builder or MMA fighter or perhaps a privileged tax feeder of the porcine variety. Of course Helot may well be the same or worse. And Mr. John_Allen himself might well have reason to be pitied should they meet in person and not come to amicable terms. One never knows. But one must be careful of the toes one steps on today, since they may be attached to the ass one has to kiss tomorrow…

            But none of that matters to me; John_Allen has made it clear that he favors coercion over voluntary cooperation when it comes to fire protection, emergency medical services and, with his allusion to speed limits, we may also surmise law enforcement. What he misses about the concept of Liberty is how it can and once did coexist with government (although imperfectly). Back when government was funded with imposts, excises, duties and tariffs one could avoid most taxes and that limited revenue stream kept the government small. But once taxation begins expanding in ever widening circles, the beast grows and so does its appetite; government takes more and more and more, all for our own good of course.

            Nowadays the government from the Courthouse to the White House has its hands in every aspect of our lives. In no small part because of the “there oughta be a law” mentality of folks like John_Allen. And those ever burgeoning and oppressive laws designed to collect the fruits of our labor must be imposed on the populace under pain of death, because deep down we know that it is theft. Perhaps Mr. John_Allen derives some personal benefit from that theft.

            The fact remains that when you take another person’s property against their will it is stealing. It doesn’t matter what group you are with or the robes and medallion you wear, stealing is stealing. If you are a modern day publican or an enforcer, you are a thief. And if you work for the state or accept money (that did not belong to you) from the state, you are receiving stolen goods. It really is that simple.

          • Usually, that type just flat out says they want to kill me (followed by a Lot of cuss words) for saying what I do.
            They Really hate freedom and liberty.

            That one *is* slippery.

            I am Not afraid.

            And, even if he somehow managed to kick my ass, I’d still pity the fool.


            I am Not a High-Pro-Glow big bad body builder or MMA fighter or a privileged tax feeder of the porcine variety. I guess I’m just an average country boy in the city who took The Red Pill.


            I was blind but now I see.

            Just wanted to make that clear. Creeps me out that anyone would even think that of me.
            But of course, I get the full-on yet perhaps half-way/kind of, ‘hypothetically speaking’ part.

            Anyway, kick-ass replies, Bevin and Boothe.

            Also, Boothe, I wonder. Robert Wenzel over at The Economic Policy Journal thinks that people who work for the state are ok – so long as they don’t make the state more efficient – is that possible? ( I think he had in mind people such as Prof. Block & Higgs. They certainly don’t, as uber-boot licker “John Allen” might say, “toe the company line”, but so long as ‘everyone’ doesn’t just up and walk away from the colossus, is it not better they are there? Or, is that me lightly clinging to min-anarchism, Bevin? Idk.)

            His take was also, that’s just one more Dollar the empire does not have available to spend on drones and bombs to lob at wedding parties and such.

            I knew of one guy who worked for the state. He showed up drunk every day. He didn’t do anything for them. Nothing. He actually got fired. If you can believe that.

            I know a few others, they work hard at exposing the waste, fraud and abuse of the system.
            I think they are wasting their time.
            I tell them so.
            But I keep thinking – their intentions aside – that’s just One more Dollar the empire has to print and it does not go towards drones or bombs.
            And, they fill up the space of “Yes Men”.

            Should they be shunned?

            I understand the argument about how they just justify the empire. That is true, to an extent and for the most part. I think. But at the same time…?
            Is that an error?

            The ones I like, they don’t, ‘Just Salute and Follow Orders’, quite the contrary, they are thorns in the sides of the empire. I like that part of them. After all, they are not the ones forcing you to hand over your money. Sure, they shouldn’t accept it. But like I said, it’s one more Dollar that cannot be used to fund a drone or a bombing program. Does that make a difference?

          • Dear Helot,

            “They Really hate freedom and liberty.”

            Reminds me of Bush’s “They hate us for our freedoms.”

            Ironically, it actually applies to domestic statist control freaks. They are the ones who really do hate us for our freedoms.

          • Oh, that IS twisted, Bevin.

            It’s a lot like the saying about how (how does that go?) “nothing is ever verified until it’s officially denied.”?

            In the film, ‘Little Big Man’, a Native American Indian does everything backwards. He washes in dirt and dries himself off in water.
            It’s like that.
            The spokespersons for the Big Head in the sky, er I mean, the gooberment, says “they” hate us for our freedoms, when what they really mean to say is,…. yeah.

        • Hi John,

          Physical threats and personal abuse are not wanted here, nor will I permit them.

          This isn’t about who can win a fistfight. It’s about whose ideas are defensible in terms of how they comport with human rights.

          If you’d like to engage on that level, you’re most welcome to.

          If you’re only going to make threats, then please take them elsewhere.

    • Helot – Do you notice how the Cloverians amongst us often start out so “reasonably”? The circular logic of “if it wasn’t for X, then we would all have to suffer from Y” is their typical statist mantra. Never mind that before the state existed, somehow, some way, humanity yet remained extant. I’m glad that there were “off duty” EMT’s available when his dad needed them. Of course if they had been volunteer rescue squad members one may surmise that the outcome would have been the same. Or if they were merely well trained first aid team members from the local factory, power plant, etc.; the state does not have an exclusive franchise on EMS training. The difference being the fact that government run EMS and fire protection receive their funding through coercion.

      John_Allen is more than happy to have these services available at the expense of his fellow countrymen because he doesn’t have to “do the wet work”, as Eric would put it, of extracting the money from them under pain of death. He has the government to do this for him, so he can comfortably turn a blind eye to the real mechanics of taxation through distraint. If Mr. John_Allen were required to go door to door with a gun to collect the money for those things he feels the state should rightfully be doing, he might have a different outlook on the matter. As I stated before, I like our arrangement here; membership fire departments. If you are a member, and I am, they will serve you. If you are not, they may very well show up and keep the fire from spreading to the participating neighbors’ property. The rationale is that if you are not interested enough to volunteer your annual dues, they aren’t interested enough to volunteer to put your place out if it catches fire. I think that’s a workable compromise.

      I’d be curious if Mr. John_Allen could handle it if he had to walk up to me personally, stick a gun in my face and tell me “Hand over your wallet!” When he opened my wallet (assuming I didn’t bat the gun away, draw my own weapon and “stop” him…permanently) and found one hundred dollars therein, I wonder how much of it he would take for the common weal. Let’s say he only took the “reasonable” cut of twenty percent and handed my wallet back with eighty dollars remaining. He might go on to explain to me that what he is doing is not armed robbery because out of my twenty, eight dollars would go to the school. Another three dollars was going to the police, two more to the fire department, a dollar and a half to the homeless shelter and the rest would be divided up amongst various other worthy causes as well as administrative costs. You know, like the new Ford Explorer the county building inspector “needs.” Even though it would still be robbery, I feel like that arrangement would be more “honest” since there’s no denying the nature of the act. Hiding behind a county assessor, a tax collector, the courts and using the sheriff’s department as the enforcer, “the law” in other words, doesn’t change the actual nature of the act. It’s merely putting lipstick on a pig.

      And to raise all fire fighters as well as cops up onto the pedestal of heroism is ridiculous. There’s no question about it, some cops and some fire fighters have performed some heroic acts. So have some common citizens. But that does not impute some special status to all members of either class, anymore than it makes all electricians a hero because one of their own rescued a kid from drowning. I don’t care what your profession is; all I care about is who you are as an individual. Can I count on you? Can I trust you? Will you mind your own business and leave me alone? If the answer to any of these questions is “no” then I have to assume you’re my enemy. And if you align yourself with a group that intends to take the fruits of my labor under pain of violence, even part of them, then I can reasonably assert that group is not my friend even if it calls itself government. No matter how “good” they portray their intentions to be or what they intend to do with my money, if I’m force to hand it over, it’s still stealing.

      • Got damn, Boothe! You hit the nail on the head there Every Single time.


        I wonder how “John_Allen’s” story would have worked out if simple life guards would have been the ones who saved The Day?

        Nothing matters though.
        The stupid imbeciles who make up the majority of america have made up their mind: They Love War.
        And, they hate their neighbor.

        Ask any First Grader these days, “what does it mean to be an american?”

        The answer probably is, “Seek and destroy” or some such thing.

        I wish I had the outlook a few have, that The Empire is on the run.

        I hope they are right.

    • Hi John,

      Your write, “Fire fighters are to be disrespected because they “infringe on a business owner’s right” to pack 200 people into a space designed for 80.”

      Did the business owner “pack” – that is, force – those people into his establishment? Or did they come in freely?

      How are the rights of customers violated by this? The businessman merely opened his doors. If people choose to come in, they have chosen to come in. Moreover, it does not follow that harm will come as a result. Does it? Perhaps . . . if there is a fire.

      But here we are again at the “x might happen” and therefore Authority (that is, the people who have claimed a legal right to impose their will on others using violence) will restrict/control/dictate. In other words, you (speaking metaphorically as well as literally) know best – and are going to force others to act accordingly.

      It’s no different than mandatory buckle-up laws or laws making it illegal to sell “too much” soda to people or laws forbidding people who’ve never themselves committed any crime with a firearm from owning firearms.

      Is it?

      Smith has not harmed Jones by opting out of fire protection services (assume for a moment he could). No crime has been committed, even if Smith’s house burns down. It’s his house, after all. His property, his right to risk it.


      But Jones doesn’t approve of Smith’s personal choices – and wants to force Smith to do as Jones believes he ought to. Jones believes it is “unwise” to not have fire protection – and therefore, everyone must pay for it.

      Instead of live – and let live – Jones lives to control the lives of others, always “for their own good,” or “society’s good,” of course.

      It’s not that I don’t have respect for firemen (“disrespect” is a ghetto construction; one treats a person disrespectfully, or does not have respect for them, etc.). It is that I reject the suggestion that I or anyone else is obligated to support them financially. It’s not their work – as such – isn’t honorable. It’s that it’s dishonorable to force people to pay for it who may not value it or who cannot afford it.


      You are a young/struggling worker – or an older/struggling worker. Times are very tight. But you make enough – just barely – to meet your monthly expenses. You – by dint of hard work – bought your house, it’s yours – in terms of not owing the bank money.

      But because the government claims you “owe” them money, you are forced to hand over funds you don’t have, or which are vital to pay for the things you desperately need (like food) in the form of property taxes to fund things like the fire department.

      What gives you or anyone else the right to dictate to other people their priorities?

      If you (or I) desire fire protection – or any other form of insurance – then we have every right to seek it out and purchase it. Or provide it to others, at a profit.

      But none of us has the right to insist that others buy fire protection – or any other form of insurance. Or anything else, for that matter.

    • Dear Tor, Helot, Boothe,

      Youse guys have pretty much covered the bases.

      So I’ll just say this.

      The clovers always think they can undermine libertarianism and justify statism. But they never can. It’s not because libertarianism are more eloquent than statists. Many are. But that’s not the reason.

      It’s because libertarianism is based on respect for natural rights and personal freedom, whereas statism is not.

      In the end, no matter how convoluted the arguments become, this underlying reality always emerges, and always validates libertarianism and invalidates statism.

      The only way the statists can “win,” is by attempting to short-circuit rational debate with brute force coercion. To see what that looks like, simply visit Pro Libertate or Cop Block for their latest entry.

      • So true Bevin.

        Statists never see the baby.

        They see the bathwater, and the tub. They worry about the temperature of the bath, and what products to use to bathe the baby.

        What techniques are best when bathing baby. Who are the consensus experts of baby baths. Who is the baby authority, and the bath authority. What are the laws of baby bathing.

        They never trust their own eyes, ears, and hands. They never think to just put the baby in the bath and watch her reaction to it.

        They are on heightened alert, to ensure total bathing protocol adherence. They want all baths to be equal and identical. To be done the one correct way.

        They miss the fact that the baby is the answer. The baby is the bath. Does the baby giggle, does it cry. The baby is the one and only final arbiter. Is the baby clean?

        As for statists, and all their big ideas. Throw them in the woods along with all the used bathwater. Just don’t throw out the baby, if that happens the statists win.

        First Bath For Baby Bug!

        Baby Bath TheParentingChannel

        How to give a baby a bath for the first time!

        Essential Newborn First Bath Tutorial by Expert Nurse

        Top Baby Bath Tips — The Bump

        • Dear Tor,

          There was a time in my life, not long after I graduated from college, when I imagined human society to be an impossibly complex puzzle that can never be grasped let alone deciphered.

          But decades later, after long immersion in libertarian and especially market anarchist theory, the truth dawned on me.

          Human society is not intrinsically complex. It is only government that makes it complex. Government makes a mess of anything it tackles. Then to fix the mess, makes a mess of the mess. then to fix the mess of the mess, it makes a mess of the mess of the mess.

          It doesn’t take long for human society to become artificially complex with government working on it.

          But if one sweeps aside all that nonsense in one bold stroke, even if only in one’s mind, it all becomes crystal clear. Human society is naturally simple, and complex only when made artificially complex by government.

          • Quite right Bevin, and thanks for the accolades. Most things are very simple once you reduce them to their lowest common denominator. We (my generation) were trained to believe the term “sophisticated” was a compliment and indicated one so called to be in the “upper crust.” But in fact “sophistication” goes hand in glove with “sophistry” and is used by “the elite” (i.e. rent seeking, tax-feeding parasites) to befuddle the “lower classes” into handing over the fruits of their labor because it’s “the law.” Once you apply critical thinking to it, the outer layers peel right off and expose the truly ugly nature of it all. That’s why we have the “Common Core of Learning” in the government schools nowadays; to make sure the masses don’t look behind the facade that is the state and stop paying the way of the nonproductive.

          • Dear Boothe,

            Sure thing! Think nothing of it.

            Re: sophisticated and sophistry

            Nice one. So much of our language inadvertently reveals or conceals simple underlying truths.

            Some of the most striking examples are in government monetary policy, in the deceptive terminology used by the Federal Reserve System, the Treasury, and the banking industry.

            Consider this.


            Frauds and Scams

            The Federal Reserve Board regularly monitors fraudulent solicitations and communications that purport to be made with the approval or involvement of the Federal Reserve or Federal Reserve officials. These scams often take the form of e-mail messages that seek to obtain personal information that is later used to commit fraud or theft.

            To learn more about how to guard against fraud or scams visit the Federal Reserve Board’s Consumer Help Center.

            The biggest fraud and scammer in the history of mankind, pretending to be a guardian against fraud and scamming. Is that chutzpah or what?

        • Dear Tor,

          By the way, tonight is the season finale of The Walking Dead, and the season premier of Game of Thrones!

          Two of the few shows on TV worth watching.

          • Yes, I’ll be watching. Perhaps for the reason that it’s nice to see societies where people aren’t bound by the same meaningless complexity we are.

            An easy work around for all of today’s muddled societies, would be for outside parties to keep track of all transfers and thefts from everyone.

            Each person would have a ledger with their fellow humans. They would either owe a debt, or be owed a debt.

            There would be no welfare nor tax. All would be recategorized as loans between individuals, which would be strictly accounted for.

            As far as those murdered by the system, that would be kept account of too. Those currently employed in the system would be held accountable for the debts accrued based on the lives lost.

            Those already dead would receive death ledgers showing how much they owed at the time of their deaths.

          • Dear Tor,

            Yes. The attraction of these shows it the Alternate Reality they depict.

            They expose the true nature of government in their own unique way. Do they do so consciously? I can’t say for sure. But intentionally or otherwise, they do it. Hence the relevance to our situation today.

            Take The Walking Dead for example. TWD borders on black comedy. What are the “walkers” but the “Free Shit Army?” They are shells of human beings whose higher brain functions have been fried by the virus of “entitlement” that turns them into Rand’s “moral cannibals.” They no longer produce anything. They only feed off those who still do. Unchecked, they would eventually destroy a productive society and lead to its utter collapse.

            This is almost a direct translation of Alexander Tytler addage into a horror story.

            A democracy is always temporary in nature; it simply cannot exist as a permanent form of government. A democracy will continue to exist up until the time that voters discover that they can vote themselves generous gifts from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates who promise the most benefits from the public treasury, with the result that every democracy will finally collapse due to loose fiscal policy, which is always followed by a dictatorship.

    • John_Allen,
      Regardless of the mechanisms used to employ people as EMTs or FF, it would make little difference with regard to people in such professions off duty at the right time in the right place.

      It is not fire fighters who make building codes, it is the government. I have not extensively studied the history of building codes, but there is no reason these could not be brought about without government. Civil liability and insurance when not conforming to independently established building codes would be one way.

      The problem is that people think the only way to do anything is through government via men with guns.

  5. I was a volunteer firefighter before they were “heroes” and worse before all firefighters were “brothers”. We did fund raising to buy trucks and equipment, and those trucks would work for us for 50 years. A base model chiefs car (Crown Vic wagon), bought with donated money was good for 25 years or more. The building had been built by members 100 years prior and all additions and improvements were done by members on weekends with donated money and materials. If you’d called yourself a hero then they would bitch slap you. Flash forward 20 years and 3 taxpayer funded fully optioned Tahoes are the chiefs fleet, each with $10k of lights and equipment (for firefighter safety). They spend around $3k each on paint and graphics, these cars will last maybe 5 years. All work on the fire stations are done by outside contractors at union scale. All of the insanely expensive fire trucks are now replaced every 20 years. This may not be a trend nationwide, but it’s the norm on the east coast. Around here the “volunteers” all have taxpayer funded pensions they collect after 20 years of service. At this point even the “well meaning” FF’s are just tax leaches weather they realize it or not. Calling them heroes just feeds they’re egos and makes them more immune to criticism.

  6. @Brian. A challenge to imagining my hypothetical is the average home catches fire twice per year in this community. What if I change that to once every four years. And stipulate the average fire results in 10% loss in value of the residence. And home values hold exactly steady year after year.

    Thus a $200k home will have an average expected fire loss of $5,000 per year.

    Imagine you are the wealthiest, richest property owner in town, a lifetime resident, with incredible influence and standing. What would you expect he’d be able to charge for his firefighting services? Would you have any advice for him? Or any demands? What would you tell your fellow townspeople are the benefits and the problems of this new capitalist endeavor?
    – – – – –

    Real life American authority submissiveness in the face of disaster. Prayer vigils. Empty speeches. No demands for brass tacks and for dealing in facts. No willingness of the local PTB to surrender an iota of power, even though it may cost human lives.

    Where are the engineers, where are the local libertarians and anarcho-capitalists. Ideally, there must be no tolerance for playing political football and scoring emotional social points when human beings are buried beneath mud and debris.

    Where is the awareness that engineering and project management are the only relevant considerations. The consenting to this status quo clearly demonstrates Americans remain abject apes much closer still to the darkest tribal savagery and stupefying superstition than they care to admit.

    There was a landslide in Oso, WA on State Road 530, East of Arlington, and West of Darrington




  7. Welcome Brian and thanks.

    Long ago I had vacation land off Hwy 71 a few miles south of the MO border in the days when Americans enjoyed those sorts of luxuries. Must of spent a few days in KC or Northern MO hundreds of times.

    Don’t let them call the shots, learn sufficient agora techniques to achieve some measure of emancipation. Tor is good, so is I2P or Secret, maybe try hidemyass and other proxies to fully access UK sites that feature future predictions and other things US blocks

    Not much of a torrent/magnet link user, but kickass.to works well. I like the pirate bay blogs, but haven’t downloaded from them.

    Jacob Appelbaum, Tor developer’s site, he’s @ioerror on twitter

    Tor Onion Services List

    You’ll probably want to run a normal browser and Tor at the same time for speed and simplicity’s sake.

    You have to run Tor to access onion filetype links. (Note: if something looks freaky or dangerous, it probably is, this is the poorly lit outer limit of the Darknet)

    Tor Streaming TV – Reduced Bitrate Shows

    Tor Library

    I’m just a self-taught amateur. I imagine the linux users and programmers here know much more than I. I wish I could install asian languages on my computer, but I don’t want to dig through old boxes full of CDs or DVDs. Using the Maxthon browser gives me at least some insight into the asian internet.

    – – –
    Dark Horse – Katy Perry – Her Illuminatiest Video Yet

    • Thank you very much for all of those links Tor Libertarian. I will check them all out. I have the Tor Browser on my Fedora Linux machine, but Fedora hasn’t updated it in the package list for a long time, and updating it manually hasn’t worked. I had decided to take the virtual computer route, meaning that I have installed the Tails O.S. on a memory stick. I boot off of the stick and nothing gets written to the computer hard drive because it relies completely on ram and the 16 GB stick so that I can bookmark things, but you can run strictly off a DVD and ram if you wanted to: https://tails.boum.org/index.en.html
      I have got lots more to learn. Thanks again Tor Libertarian, and thanks Eric for the welcome to TOR comment.

  8. Wow… the more I read the more I learn. Laurence Vance once protested having firemen and EMTs lumped in with soldiers and cops (in response to a church wanting to recognize the “service” of all four of those groups.) I don’t make heroes of any men, but I didn’t realize that the fire department was part of the problem (Laurence probably wasn’t either.) It seems to get worse and worse as you learn more.

  9. I left a comment at the YT video.

    Bevin Chu
    1 second ago

    Advocates of the modern state solemnly assure us that the state is the “servant of the people.”
    Most people are politically naive enough to swallow this lie.
    But the costumed goons of the modern state do not believe this lie for one minute.
    That is why they felt entitled to prevent the father from saving his son.
    Would the father’s family servant have dared to prevent the father from saving his son?
    The costumed goons of the modern state consider themselves our masters, not our servants.
    Why else would they feel entitled to leave us disarmed, and call it “gun control?”
    Why else would they feel entitled to decide what we can put into out own bodies, and call it the “war on drugs?”
    And most importantly of all, why else would they feel entitled to demand money from us, and call it “taxation?”
    Time for individuals the world over to realize they are sovereign, not their government.

  10. I agree with this. I know several retired firefighters and they are great, salt-of-the-earth guys, but the overall “hero culture” of firefighters (and anyone else wearing a uniform) has gotten ridiculous.

    People at the local diner practically get on their knees if a deputy comes in. It’s a small rural community and we know the cops, although I don’t go out of my way to befriend them. And in the past 5 years or more I’ve noticed this self-importance of firemen also.

    I no longer write checks for the local volunteer FD because there is a charge on my property taxes that goes to them. As for wasted money, the FD recently obtained a ladder truck that will go up three or whatever stories, and the highest buildings in town are only two stories — no larger than a standard two-story house. Some of the retired firemen were even laughing about this being a little ridiculous.

    Ah well, they got funds from the state to pay for (most?) of it so who cares!

  11. Hose Her-hos. A scam many don’t know about is how firefighters clean out the cash registers of burning businesses as a matter of course.

    The owner reports the money must have burned up to the insurance companies; and the firefighters laugh all the way to the bank.

  12. I was a full time forced union firefighter and paramedic for six years. Everything presented here is true and doesn’t even scratch the dirty surface. I resigned from dozing for dollars. 28 dollars an hour and 27,000 dollars worth of health insurance isn’t worth your soul.

  13. Heroism is performing an act above and beyond normal expectations of performance. If fire fighters want to cash in on the “our work is dangerous and saves lives” motto, then they can’t use the same argument to award themselves honors when they do their job.

    • Excellent point, LoneZero.

      Real heroes don’t make an issue of their heroism. And they certainly don’t expect to get [==]paid for it.

  14. I am a registered architect in multiple states and I design buildings per these fire codes. I’d like to expound a little bit on Eric’s commentary regarding the enforcement of these fire codes. Many people do not know this, but the very first fire codes written in this country over 100 years ago were written by, not governments, not states, not town councils, but… for-profit insurance companies! Yes, the National Board of Fire Underwriters wrote the fire codes of yesteryear, and if you, as a property owner or business owner, wanted your building insured against the damages of fire, you were offered [key word: offered (as in, not forced)] a policy, and the terms of that policy would dictate things like maximum occupancy and fire escape requirements, etc. Then you would have the choice to accept these things, or decline them. Of course it was good business practice to provide proper fire exits and other protections, so most, if not all, property owners did this. On their own. Voluntarily. The point being, it is lamentable that what used to be done peacefully is today done forcefully.

    • Hello Anarchist Architect, if you happen to have an interest in the construction of little houses, then I invite you to join a yahoo group that I am in:
      The owner of the group is a retired architect who is a Democrat. Indeed; I and one lady are the only anarchists in the group (that posts anything, there might be lurkers). Very recently someone took issue with my source if information (mises.com) , found a wiki page on Murray Rothbard that had a slanderous paragraph inserted into it, and posted it to the group.
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Murray_Rothbard Look under the Race, gender,and civil rights heading. Suddenly, the thread I began got swamped by the mostly leftist members who were trying to discredit anarchism by its association with the supposedly racist, biggoted, homophobic Rothbard. I ultimately won that discussion (I think) because I showed that those words did not come from him in one case and was taken out of context in another. Their sources came from slander sites. The group does get very off-topic very often, but ask or post something on-topic and you are almost certain to get replies.

      • …Oh, and I should have added, since it is on-topic, that the subject of fire departments came up a couple of months ago and it was 6-8 anti-liberty people against my voluntarist views. Reason and facts won. :0)

    • Hi Lone,

      We have an all-volunteer fire/EMS in my rural country.

      I actually looked into volunteering, but they require a pee test – and even though I do not “do” arbitrarily illegal “drugs,” I object in principle to being presumed a “druggie” until I prove otherwise, absent any reason to suspect I am in fact a “druggie.”

  15. Great job Eric.
    The fundamental reasons all these groups seek government monopoly status is that 1. they enhance government power so of course politicians are all for that. 2. Knowing themselves to be less than competitive in a real market they need protection to continue to exist. 3. People fall for the propaganda that the service is best when it’s a public service.
    I say change the world one person at a time. Voluntaryism & Non aggression combined with educating our friends will spread the liberty and freedom and perhaps one day Rid the world of GOVERNMENT and Governors.

  16. Eric,
    I completely agree with you about what was done to Ryan Miller and his son, and on the unconstitutionality of fire codes and code enforcement.
    However, one of the main ideas behind having mandatory Fire Departments—ones that don’t violate peoples’ rights — is to prevent one person’s fire—perhaps someone who couldn’t afford to pay for private fire protection–from becoming anyone else’s fire, and to prevent one fire from turning into the loss of an entire city, or most of it, as in Chicago in 1873 (This happened, because, despite having an FD, it wasn’t given enough strategically-located stations or equipment to contain it in time)
    Such catastrophic fires cause horrific instant poverty, disease, and all the other attendant problems to everyone who lives in the affected area. A publicly-paid department (run properly, that is) makes valuable fire suppression, EMS, and technical rescue skills available to everyone regardless of their ability to pay, which is the only humanitarian thing to do.
    Another valuable ability of large, mandatory FDs is their ability to prevent the spread of damage from conventional bombing if the country is ever attacked or invaded—one reason I often argue for much bigger departments everywhere—so that attacks would have as minimal an effect on the country as possible. It’s for this reason we should also have multiply-redundant underground utilities and underground hospitals and shelters.
    As for the “large” salaries, most paid firefighters start out at less, often substantially less, than fifty thousand dollars per year! Not much money in this inflationary nightmare of an economy. This for a job that is equivalent in danger to armed combat! If pay were commensurate with the danger they face, the automatic PTSD, the missing family events, the not knowing if you’re going to live to the end of the day, it would start at twenty million per year for every firefighter (and member of the armed forces).
    As for the “elaborate, over-the-top-equipment”, you try fighting a 1500 degree fire anywhere above a first floor and just see how fast you’ll want a ladder truck. (Not to mention the people on that floor who need to be rescued through windows) Or try to rescue people trapped in the windowless attic of a fully involved house where the only hope is to go in through the roof or side walls.
    Additionally different types of that “elaborate” equipment is sometimes sent out to different types of calls because any situation can easily turn into a variety of other situations where the equipment is needed, and having it there—versus the 8 or so minutes (in places with better arrival times) it takes for additional equipment to arrive—means the difference between life and death to a victim.
    Firefighters know this, because they deal with these situations day in and day out. You should spend a couple of years talking with them—and really get to know what they do—before writing something like this.

    While much of government exists illegitimately, fire departments are one of the few things we should have—and spend substantial money on.

    • Hi Scott,

      I only take issue with the “mandatory” aspect. My argument is that by keeping it voluntary – in terms of funding and so on – a very important check is placed on it in terms of how big it gets, as well as the way it behaves.

      I think most people – or at least, enough people to make it doable – would voluntarily support a fire department of a size sufficient to deal with most if not all situations. Some, of course, would not support it – whether because they could not afford to do so or because they did not wish to do so. But shouldn’t that be their right?

      And even though not everyone did support the FD, all would benefit in that the FD would still put out fires when necessary.

      Kind of like church (or other charitable institution) sponsored hospitals were once able to provide care for people who lacked the means – but without coercion.

      • “I only take issue with the “mandatory” aspect.”
        Most people have fire insurance. If you have a mortgage, the holder will require it. There is no reason the insurance companies couldn’t contract with a private fire company. And if it was private, they should not be subject to gunverment requirements regarding their equipment, etc.
        Volunteer companies are becoming less viable, due to the multitude of bedroom communities that have few qualified bodies available during ‘business hours.’ But that does NOT mean that the gunverment must take over.

    • Scott, I don’t see bombing or terrorist stuff as having any real validity beyond fear mongering. Certainly not enough to create a nation of what I see as mass responders and shut-downs to ordinary events because this or that MAY happen. That has been the situation for over ten years since the whole 9-11 NYFD hero march and DHS forced tax payer funding of everything. It is a plan of induced psychological fear to the public, FD members and police departments, but has not proven to hold any water.

      What I have seen is the blatant bureaucratic bumbling and incompetence of those full time career employees tasked with preparedness, like FEMA etc., who have failed miserably when actually needed to perform. The volunteer Red Cross, as weak as they are, have performed their mission much better.

      What are the statistical number of times all that extra rolling equipment , sent to all calls, has been used to save people that would have died in that “8 minute” window you mention?

    • Scott Darby – I will flag you as a suspected “professional” firefighter and either active duty or reserve military or a veteran. Your arguments are circular and your admonition to “spend a couple of years talking with them” is presumptive. You don’t know that Eric has not. Furthermore, you do not have the right to force anyone to pay for anything they don’t want, including “fire protection.” When the mafia supplies “fire protection” we consider it to be extortion.

      Your neighbors don’t owe you anything for your “service.” You joined voluntarily, you go three hots and a cot and usually some training and job experience to boot (it’s your fault if all you did was infantry or armor crewman). Perhaps you did things your more ethical, compassionate and morally upright neighbors didn’t want done. You know; like “shooting some rag heads”, but were forced to pay for anyway.

      By the same token, you are in no way beholden to your neighbors if they make a bad bet (like not joining the membership fire department) and they lose. Liberty along with natural selection can be rather messy at times. Now, if you as a volunteer choose to go crashing through that six year old’s window and drag them to safety for pay or not, that’s your business. But just because you are willing to do that does not confer a liability to me and my neighbors. I might applaud you for your bravery and even compensate you out of my appreciation, but I don’t OWE you a thing.

      As far as big city fire departments go, I don’t choose to live in a big city; fires, disease, crime and congestion abound. If that floats your boat, go for it. But trying to impose similar standards on rural fired departments is absurd. As I pointed out before, I have a lot of fire extinguishers, I keep them inspected and serviced. I belong to and financially support our membership fire department and have fire insurance. That risk / reward ratio works for me. It may not work for you. But it’s not up to me to provide you with a contingency plan. Take care of yourself.

  17. Fred Flintstone and Barney Rubble were members of Bedrock’s volunteer fire department. They didn’t have many fires because all of the buildings were made of rock.

  18. I have always wondered why they send a fire truck when someone has a heart attack. Seems like a waste of fuel to me. The smaller truck with medical supplies would seem like enough.

    • In the EMS that I worked in, the fire department rolled on almost anything that we rolled on. The main reason was because there were more fire stations in our city than EMS stations (2 EMS versus 11 fire) so they could be anywhere in the city (usually) in 5 minutes or less whereas our response time could be upwards of 10-15 minutes.

      The fire department was first on the scene with BLS (Basic Life Support) and we brought in the ALS (Advanced Life Support). The fire department also supplied much needed manpower. If we were working a cardiac arrest, the firefighters did the chest compressions, helped carry equipment, carry the patient, etc.

      This varies from city to city. Where we live now the EMS has rapid response units that don’t do patient transport but can be on the scene quicker. But often the fire department will respond to help with manpower. The more hands to help carry that 350 pounder down the stairs the better!

      I visited London ambulance service a number of years ago. They had rapid responders on BMW motorcycles. Now that is a job that I want!

  19. Shoot, if it weren’t for fire fighters, who would save all the chimneys?

    About 20 years ago, we got a volunteer fire department started in our part of the world and since that time, we haven’t lost a single chimney.

  20. Two cases come to mind that show the “professional arrogance” and disregard for their “bosses”, the citizens.
    An firefighter from a suburban Detroit community claimed to have an “arson dog”, one that could detect accelerants. This firefighter’s flawed testimony was used in hundreds of cases to deny insurance claims and prosecute people for arson. His testimony was based solely on the dog’s reaction (cues from its handler). One honest citizen accused of arson had enough and attempted to sue the firefighter–no dice–“qualified immunity”. Modifying his lawsuit to get the dog tested was successful and resulted in the dog having no special abilities–abject failure. Of course, nothing happened to the firefighter–he retired (along with his worthless dog) with a full pension. Hundreds of peoples’ lives were ruined as a result of this “arson investigator”.
    The second case involves a fire at a plating plant (same Michigan community). Instead of following the “fire plan” which involved shutting off utilities and other actions, the firefighters on-scene pushed the owners out of the way, did not execute the fire plan; the building burned to the ground. So much for firefighter “expertise”.
    Firefighters should be treated like police–no “qualified immunity” . . .

  21. @ Helot, “I would add, it might not change what you do, but it does change what you are”.

    I think I would have to argue this one. Perhaps it changes who a firefighter is in the sense that perhaps one is paid via taxes versus one that is paid working for a private company (such as myself) or one that is a volunteer. But it doesn’t change the willingness for the firefighter to put themselves at risk to save a life or protect property.

    Volunteer firefighters, unless they are working for a department that exists on donations only (not sure there are many of those left around), are still using equipment paid for by tax dollars taken from someone else’s property.

    The days of all volunteer fire departments seem to be coming to an end in part due to DHS and NFPA requirements that are forcing counties to have full-time departments and NFPA compliant equipment which makes this equipment much more expensive to purchase and maintain.

    But that is just my impressions from what I have seen and heard is happening in the USA. I have been in private industry for about 23 years now, last working “the streets” in the 80s.

    A lot has changed since then. Cops have gone from true peace officers to JBT (Jack Booted Thugs) and I saw this change when the illegal and immoral (as all the “War on” are) War on Drugs started. I saw people arrested and jailed for having a pot leaf t-shirt on when the paraphernalia laws came out in Texas.

    Regardless of if there was a need for police or not back “in the days”, cops had more of a sense of justice and honesty than they do now. Fellow cops would have looked down on a cop that tazered a pregnant woman back then but now they are supported by the departments and fellow JBTs.

    When I was a kid, we looked up to police officers, now I have to teach my kids to look out for them.

    Much has changed…..

  22. Translation: firefighters are trying to be a solution to a problem that never existed. After all, the police force never existed until the end of the 19th century. So too there were never any firefighter forces either for most of history. In both cases people either volunteered their services or it was up to the individual to find a solution to the problem.

    • Dear, Gil, the fish from Nemo,

      Is that how you see things?

      Your perception is a bit skewed.
      But don’t worry.
      You’re not alone.
      Millions of american’t’s see the same illusion you do.

      I understand how you have trouble with the idea of things being up to the individual to find a solution to the problem.

      I mean, for those people who have trouble trying their shoes, they should really get a good insurance program going and want to force others to pay for their shoe tying team. I get that. You’re Not Alone! But there *IS* a solution.
      And it’s not spelled f-a-m-i-l-y, or c-h-a-r-i-t-y. (Well, it is, but that’s not important to you.)

      If you have trouble tying your shoelaces, a company can be there for you. They can put fires out for you too. All you have to do is make sure you’re not in an area that prohibits private firefighting companies from operating.

      Not in that area?

      Well, thank your gooberment for screwing you over.
      Just dial an official gooberment emergency number – IF you have a dial tone – and wait.
      When seconds count, gooberment help is only minutes away.
      Don’t you worry.
      Gooberment is there to help.
      You can tazer on it.

      • I feel the need for a disclaimer.
        Pardon me, for all those who might be reading this with the first name of Gil.
        No offense intended. Unless you’re a fishy-trolly kind of person.
        I know a guy in real life named Gil. Nicest guy ever.
        But he’s not the trolling type and I don’t think he’d mind I’ve labeled EPA’s Gil as a fish from an animated cartoon. I hope you don’t either.
        Unless you say otherwise, my conscious is cleared.
        Otherwise, tomorrow and henceforth, Gil shall be known to me as Gil, the fish from Nemo.

        Now, Clover… heh… he remains simply ‘Clover’, a.k.a. fodder. Too many children know to look out for Clover to change or add to that name.

        Oh crap, Tor, I’ve become a grey beard, haven’t I?

        AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA! The curse of The Clover! Get it Off me!

        • Scientifically Accurate Finding Nemo Would Be Horrifyingly Incestual

          “Father and mother clownfish are tending to their clutch of eggs at their sea anemone when the mother is eaten by a barracuda. Nemo hatches as an undifferentiated hermaphrodite (as all clownfish are born) while his father transforms into a female now that his female mate is dead. Since Nemo is the only other clownfish around, he becomes a male and mates with his father (who is now a female). Should his father die, Nemo would change into a female and mate with another male.”

          Just Keep Swimming – Dory (Ellen Degeneris) from Finding Nemo

          – there was probably a valid biological reason for Dory (as played by Ellen) to become a female who pursues other females

    • {10} I think you’re right, Gil:

      Another instance of TANSTAATKCFAASF (there ain’t no such thing as a thesis Kant can’t find an antithesis solution for)

      Hegelian dialectic, usually presented in a threefold manner, is comprised of three dialectical stages of development: 1) a thesis, giving rise to its reaction, 2) an antithesis, which contradicts or negates the thesis, and 3) the tension between the two being resolved by means of a synthesis.

      Although this model is often named after Hegel, he himself never used that specific formulation. Hegel ascribed that terminology to Kant. Carrying on Kant’s work, Fichte greatly elaborated on the synthesis model, and popularized it.


      {11} When analyzing the genome of the earliest Americans, the genes reveal that early Americans are the product of two lineages that most likely met and interbred in Asia before making the trek across the Bering land bridge.

      This strongly suggests that there was a single migration of people into the Americas. And these people were probably the people who eventually gave rise to Clovis.”


      {12}- ‘muriKa – it always begins with the Clovis.

      {13} Hose Heroes Topical Foot Note:

      Real Hose Heroes Firefighter Game for Nintendo Wii

    • Hi Gil,

      This business – like so many other things – comes down to some people using force to impose their conception of “need” on others. And also of scale.

      As I see it, having a fire-fighting service is sufficiently desirable such that in any given community, there will be enough people willing to voluntarily serve as fire-fighters as well as support those who serve voluntarily as fire fighters. So long as this support remains non-coercive, the service is benign (indeed, it is a boon) and “need” is defined by people’s willingness to freely serve and support the service – this far (but no farther).

      Which leads us to scale.

      So many things – institutions especially – are no longer human-scaled. They have become monstrously out of proportion and in so becoming, unaccountable, unapproachable, unresponsive to individual human beings.

  23. I grew up with a lot of kids whose fathers were firefighters.

    There are a lot of “perks” that many fireman avail themselves to while alone inside someone else s house. The loss usually just get passed off to the insurance companies.


    • Hi Donabernathy,


      Even if they don’t steal, they are often very careless about the damage they cause to someone’s property in the course of “doing their job.” Now, this would be one thing if the owner had called them to his home or place of business and consented to the “job” being done. But not infrequently, the fire fighters will do their “job” despite the loudly stated objections of the owner of the property. In a very real sense, the fire fighters assume ownership of the property – and do with it as they like.

      That’s wrong – no matter what the fire-fighters may say about the urgency of the situation. It’s not their property, after all.

      • Heroes?

        I would gladly give up my life to TRY to save my child. Living without him would be hard enough. Living with myself without trying to the end would be unbearable. Denying another parent that opportunity is unforgivable

        Love your Site.

      • But not infrequently, the fire fighters will do their “job” despite the loudly stated objections of the owner of the property. In a very real sense, the fire fighters assume ownership of the property – and do with it as they like.

        The justification for this that they always instantly trot out is some variation of “neighboring property is at risk.” It’s the hose hero equivalent of “officer safety.”

  24. As an ex-paramedic, volunteer firefighter and deputy sheriff I have to respectfully disagree with much in this post.

    Now to predicate what I’m going to say, I have to disclose that it has been over 25 years since I have done any of the above in the USA and I’m quite happy working overseas now.

    But “back in the day”, firefighting was something to be proud of doing and still is. It has no doubt been overburdened by layers of bureaucracy much more so then it did in my days as a volunteer but the basics of firefighting haven’t changed. You still have people who are willing to run into a building that is on fire and everybody else is running out of.

    The risk are not as bad as they were at one time with better protective gear, thermal imaging, etc. but the risk are still there and firefighters get killed in fires on a regular basis.

    The better everything has raised the cost of running and maintaining a fire department which gets passed on to the citizens through taxes. I have a problem with all taxes and agree that this should be done on a fee basis and has been done by companies such as Rural-Metro.

    Did I ever feel like a hero when I was doing the paramedic and firefighting thing? Yea, I have to say that I did. When you save a life either by working a cardiac arrest and they survive or you run into a burning building and save property, you do puff out your chest a bit and yes, there is a degree of arrogance there, I won’t deny it.

    However, I never felt like a hero when I did law enforcement which is why I didn’t last long in that profession.

    Now I’m in Egypt working at a petrochemical facility where I’m responsible for all things HSSE (Health, Safety, Security and Environmental) and a full time fire department is part of my responsibility. And I’m proud of my guys who are willing to do what few people will do. But we are doing it not on tax dollars but for a private company. Regardless of how our department is funded does not change what we do.

    And like someone said above, I’m a bit “old and creaky” to keep up with the young pups but I do still like to play with fire.

    • Randal, I really don’t see how what you wrote disagrees with much of anything in this post. I like just about everything you wrote.

      Especially this, “I have a problem with all taxes and agree that this should be done on a fee basis and has been done by companies such as Rural-Metro.”

      However; when you say, “Regardless of how our department is funded does not change what we do.” I would add, it might not change what you do, but it does change what you are.

      It makes me glad that you’re no longer a cop and that you’re happy with your new-ish job in the private sector.
      May you be a guiding light for every cop in the nation.

      “I never felt like a hero when I did law enforcement”


    • Hi Randall,

      I don’t have any issue at with fire-fighting… as such.

      The issue is coercion. Should people be forced to fund fire-fighting? I say, no.

      If it is a valuable service, people (enough people in a given community) will freely pay for it. If they are made to pay for it, it’s strong evidence the service is either not valuable, or the level of service is excessive (more than the people themselves believe they need – as expressed by their willingness to pay for it).

      I agree with you that it’s noble to risk one’s neck to fight a fire, to save people from being burned to death (and so on).

      But it’s not noble to use violence to compel people to pay you to do so.

      • Eric,
        “The issue is coercion. Should people be forced to fund fire-fighting? I say, no.

        If it is a valuable service, people (enough people in a given community) will freely pay for it.”
        Same goes for military ‘service.’ If the US had been in actual danger during WW I or II, or the 2nd War of Secession, for example, there would have been no need for a draft. There would have been long lines to volunteer. Of course now we have ‘an all volunteer military’ except they lie to you to get you to enlist.
        A little off topic, I realize, but I had to rant.

    • I actually know someone that ran into a burning house, and saved a couple of small dogs. The fire was in the back of the home, he just happened to be going by and was the first one on the scene.

      I can just imagine some socialist shill coining the catch phrase “firefighters are people who are willing to run into a building that is on fire and everybody else is running out of”

      There are plenty of able-bodied people willing to rescue their neighbors and fellow men during times of disaster. Firefighting is indeed a noble act, one that many people are capable of performing when the time comes, no halloween costume required.

      First responders’ priorities are things like asserting state command and control of an incident perimeter and garbage like that. They are kissing cousins of knights, viscounts, barons, and squires – titles of royalty – from days that should be long since past.

      It doesn’t stretch the imagination too far to imagine a coming future where minor vehicle problems will require a “first responder” to fix.

      Got a flat tire, or a dead battery, find somewhere safe off the road and just dial 911 and wait 45 minutes. Your first responder hero is on his way, citizen.

  25. I hadn’t paid much thought to it, but I suppose the tax feeder firemen are definitely members of the parasite class. The reason I hadn’t paid it any mind is that my home is served by 100% volunteer firemen. I’ve worked at a volunteer fire station myself and we never took one red cent that wasn’t donated. We did it cause it was our friends and neighbors’ lives, houses, and lands we were saving; and that’s the only way it should be. I’m too old and creaky to do it any more, but I still wash the trucks every now and then and I gratefully pay as much as I can at the annual spaghetti dinner.

    • That’s awesome, Galaxy 500. (Nice car, too)

      I think, maybe, if you poked me with a stick (and they didn’t have the “or else” power themselves) I could call you and some of those guys heroes, if, for nothing else, than simply being 100% volunteer firemen.

      The trucks and the station were paid off from donations years ago, right?

      If Only the cops were the same way.

      But what I am I thinking? This is the unitedstate! The U.S.S.A.! Where freedom Is slavery and ignorance Is strength!

      That kind of shit would never fly, here in the land of the flea, except in pockets here and there to placate the masses into thinking they lived in the opposite of what they lived in.

      I imagine news crews visit your town often (or one of the few just like it) for those feel good stories that make people think everything is hunky dory in fly-over country.

      ‘They’ turn everyone into pawns. Even, the good.

      I’m reminded of that old line, if you don’t know who the sucker is the room. You’re it.

      Anyway, Galaxy 500. I’m impressed.
      The remnant does not appear to be dead yet.

    • @Galaxy – My thoughts exactly. I was present when a well paid firefighter was talking to his B.C. and plainly stated he was due a pay raise because of (1) his new 2,500 sq. ft. home mortgage, (2) new F250 4X4 and boat payments,(3) days off at the river (his shift crew worked about 10-12 days a month), and the rest of his family’s lifestyle was owed it. He never considered his own performance or “was he worth it”, only what the department owed him. Later the B.C. and I talked and we shook our heads at the current attitude and arrogance.

      • “because of (1) his new 2,500 sq. ft. home mortgage, (2) new F250 4X4 and boat payments […] his family’s lifestyle was owed it”

        In the background I can imagine Max von Sydow saying in a film with utter contempt, “The Arrogance!”


        I have no clue what film I saw that in. I can just hear him say it as I read Garysco’s comment.

        Then, I remember what I’ve learned from TheHousingBubbleBlog and I know he’ll get his comeuppance.
        I do hope it’s only an economic one and that he’ll learn his lesson.
        I’m not a freaking sadist.
        Maybe he has to move back in with mom and dad when the bubble pops?
        That *can* be a good thing.

    • Ditto that, Galaxy –

      Voluntary everything is how it all ought to be. This “model” of people interacting with one another using force and threats of physical violence to compel obedience and compliance has got to be put a stop to.

  26. Actually, I’m really glad you took that position, MamaLiberty. I know some people who make $90,000 a yr. doing a, shall we say(?) similar thing. They expose such things as gooberment wasting $10,000 Dollars on toilet seats and $5,000 Dollars on hammers. If it wasn’t for them, the ‘public’ wouldn’t know about such things and how wasteful gooberment really is, and therefore; want to change things.

    While I agree with Prof. Robert Higgs that their endeavor to uncover Waste, Fraud and Abuse is more of a support for the legitimacy of gooberment functions than anything else, I can’t help but think they are quite the same as the rural firefighters (who also take a chunk of the taxpayer pie) upon whom the locals cultivate a benefit. In the big scheme of things, they are both the same, but no doubt, on the micro level they are worlds apart. Does it matter? Is it like the soldiers who build schools and water treatment plants after they blow them up?

    When the revolution comes and Jean and Co. wants to hang those I know by lamp posts, I’ll stand in front of them with you in mind. “But they did a bit of good!” I’ll say. And, “I didn’t mind paying for it! It was so much better than paying for bombs and drones to take out wedding parties and to kill little boys and girls in foreign lands,… or to pay the cops to do the same right here at home!”

    “It was just one more Dollar that didn’t go towards those kinds of things”, I’ll say.

    At least those people were trying to rein things in, however futile that might’ve been, unlike those who just … go along to get along? Or, something like that. But the downside is, they both supported the legitimacy of the empire.

    Do you get my drift?

    [Ah, don’t answer, I don’t want to know.]

    Also, I hope you don’t take this as an attack or anything.

    And, I really really like how Boothe’s setup is.

    Expand! Expand Expand! Oh how I hope it Expands.

    • The important thing is individual sovereignty. The freedom to choose, then choose again if we don’t like the result. There is no rational “one size fits all” answer to anything, and people must be free to bind themselves to anything they CHOOSE. The kicker is that nobody can choose for someone else. Nobody can sign a contract for others against their will, or without their knowledge.

      This is the logical answer to those who insist that “government” is somehow necessary. I have no objection to anyone choosing or living under any government they please, of course… but the vital question remains just how they assume any legitimate authority to choose for me. Just where did I sign up for any of this?

      When and Where Did We Sign and Countersign the Government’s Obligations?
      Michael S. Rozeff

      Every balance sheet has two sides: assets and liabilities. A few words on the state’s assets, first. The state, having no standard assets, necessarily takes them from its citizens. When and where any of us who are forced to give up these assets to the government signed off on this taking are pertinent questions. If each of us is a sovereign who delegates power to the government, who delegated this power if I did not? I assuredly made no such delegation. And if I did delegate it in my sleep perhaps or delegated it when I was a baby and now have forgotten signing, where did I get a power to extract assets from other people? The state’s most basic asset, in a non-standard sense of the term asset, is its raw power to extract the ordinary assets of its subjects against their will.

  27. The formerly small-scale local all-volunteer FD becomes professional – with salaried full-time firefighters who have contracts guaranteeing them large salaries and, of course, benefits.

    Speaking of which, I wonder how fat with dough the retired “hose heroes” who started Firehouse Subs have become?

    I wonder if any retired cops have considered launching a similar franchise called “Pigpen Donuts.”

    • “I wonder if any retired cops have considered launching a similar franchise called “Pigpen Donuts.””

      Lib, I almost just pissed myself over that one!

  28. You Can Be a Hero Mister – SNSD

    You have the key to open the future. So dream bigger than a child, Place me in your eyes that shine. my Mister, Rock this world.

    In this world, in front of you, Before anyone else, throw yourself, Even more fiercely, Mister, Only you, can achieve, Just one thing, for the tomorrow.

    Where you and I, will live our lives, Mister, Be stronger look at me, yes you, You made my heart race, the best man, that’s you.

    You make broken glass from scars turn into stars, The one chosen to make me shine, That hero, my Mister.


    A Pitcher of Illuminati Kool-Aid Shatters – Family Guy

    Lumen Anatomy

    Lumen Visible Light Unit

    ill-lumen-ati (disciples of the Bad Light, the Bad Path)

  29. What Would My Mama Do – Pixie Lott

    Mama Do – Lyrics Decoded

    Every night I go. Every night I go sneaking out the door. I lie a little more, baby I’m helpless[1]

    There’s something ’bout the night. And the way it hides all the things I like. Little black butterflies. [2] Deep inside me

    What would my mama do. If she knew ’bout me and you? What would my daddy say. If he saw me hurt this way?[2]

    Why should I feel ashamed? Feeling guilty at the mention of your name. Here we are again. It’s nearly perfect.[3]

    All the things a girl should know. Are the things she can’t control. All the things a girl should know. She can’t control.[4]

    [1] All girls are defenseless monarch-controlled MI6-CIA beta sexkittens, natch.

    [2] Whatever she would do, you won’t like it. Accept your new Monarch-Handler Mother-Father.

    [3] Distrust your own senses and feelings. Wait for our instructions and explanations. We are you true Family and Rightful Authority.

    [4] That’s good, Princess. Release yourself to the Force. Feel the strength of the Force as it takes control. The Jedi side of the force. The Dark side of the force. Either-Or. Doesn’t matter, since both are illusions that We project and alter as it suits Us.
    – – – –

    Where today are the Pequot? Where are the Narragansett, the Mohican, the Pokanoket, and many other once powerful tribes of our people? [5]

    They have vanished before the avarice and the oppression of the White Man, as snow before a summer sun.

    Will we let ourselves be destroyed in our turn without a struggle, give up our homes, our country bequeathed to us by the Great Spirit, the graves of our dead and everything that is dear and sacred to us? I know you will cry with me, ‘Never! Never! – Tecumseh Shawnee

    [5] * – Where are the ways and birthrights left for you by your ancestors. Where are you and your children going, if They continue to get their way?

      • What should be said about Hose Heroes? Their intentions and works are irrelevant. They are the scummiest of scum.

        We need to understand the underlying services and technologies. But Hose Heroes are nothing but cartoonish Mighty Morphin Power Rangers deserving of brickbats and contempt. Only the utterly idiotic can tolerate or stomach them.

        Red Ranger = Firemen = Hose Heroes
        Black Ranger = Judges = Robed Justice Heroes
        Blue Ranger = Police/Soldiers = Drone Heroes
        Yellow Ranger = Politicians/Officials = Public Servant Heroes
        Pink Ranger = Child Services = Family Heroes
        Green Ranger = Park Rangers = Enviro Heroes

        First Responders in France

        “A wee child toddling in a wonder world, I prefer to their dogma my excursions into the natural gardens where the voice of the Great Spirit is heard in the twittering of birds, the rippling of mighty waters, and the sweet breathing of flowers. If this is Paganism, then at present, at least, I am a Pagan.” – Zitkala-Sa

      • Dear Tor,

        ML is right.

        Too much rich material. Putting it in a comments section does not do it justice.

        You could post it in both places. There and EPA.

        I would go to WordPress and set up a blog.

        • Dear Bevin,

          Here is Eric’s Rand Paul article I’ve posted to Reddit, with only topical and pithy commentary.


          Certainly an easier read there.

          One theory of an orderly existence, is a place for everything, and everything in its place. Certainly has its merits, I’ll admit.

          Couldn’t you or Mama or an experienced someone act as moderators / janitors of this blog? Accept as payment, an exclusive link to your own content?

          To meet its goal, this site needs to achieve 3.2% of its goal each day in a 31 day month. It’s only doing 2.2% right now, so let’s change it up, you say? I agree.
          – – –
          Possible Commentary Policy to Adopt?

          About Nassim Taleb’s Blog:
          This is for philosophical discussions. Please, no depraved topics, and no self-promotion. Only fun people.

          Commentators, please observe salon rules. Do not post before familiarity with the ideas. This is not a democracy (the web is).

          Nassim has No interest in being a public figure/public intellectual, he uses this blog to develop specific points related to his work, period.

          FAQ regarding this Blog: https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B8nhAlfIk3QIOTV3Y3RhLVpLZVk/edit

          Nassim deletes all mainstream political recitations and related comments & similarly depraved topics. No Fans, no humorless farts, please: this is for the development of ideas linked to Anti-Fragility and managing uncertainty, not for anything else.

          Commentators should not jump into the conversation without prior familiarity with the problems/ideas, as it brings the discussions down to the lowest level.
          – – – –

          Perhaps my attempts at being symbiotic gut bacteria, too often needlessly bloat this blog?

          Is this blog still fun for everyone, or is it just fun for those like me?

          Rathbonez jumps to mind. His blog has a grand total of 5,000 views now. It is well designed, it has all kinds of content. It looks great, because it has almost no comments.

          What is the point of writing, when all you hear are crickets? This includes any of you with echo chamber blogs that haven’t given Eric’s sincere offer a chance. What are you afraid of?

          The trouble with philosophical truth telling, is the character and idiosyncracies of the teller become exposed.

          I doubt I’m mainstreamly likable like you, Mama, Eric, Dom, Boothe, Fred Reed, Gary North, etc. I’m probably closer to Drunk Uncle if left to write by myself.

          If anyone wants to co-author a blog I’m ready to attempt that, as long as said blog neither lessens views or revenue.

          Drunk Uncle Rants about the outcome of the 2012 election.

          – It’s hard to put in the words, how deeply everyone’s domain-blindness enrages me. Why doesn’t Eric know that firetrucks are just vehicles that can be reverse engineered and techno-counterfeited on the cheap? That a rat-fire-truck is the answer to the fire prevention riddle?

          But that is absurd of course. I wouldn’t have such an insight without his diligent organizing and sifting of so much complexity that far beyond my ken of managing. It may not even be an insight. Just further non-symbiotic blog bloat FAIK.

          – Anyway, tl;dr, your next off-topic, Tor long-winded post, in the heart of article comments? It’s forecast for April 1st. No more running free without a saddle for a spell.

          • Dear Tor,

            Just a thought. Nothing to get too concerned about.

            Posting here is fine too. It does help Eric, by enriching the content at EPA, which is a good thing.

            Go with what your gut tells you.

          • “Rand Paul Comes Out of the Neocon Closet.”

            Funny, I was never under the impression that he was hiding his neocon proclivities. They were always pretty obvious to me from Day One.

  30. Come ye builders and chiefs of the sky, earth, and sea, to Mato Tipila, lodge of Sky Mama Bear and Star Child Bear, and bring an end to the Reign of the Fork Tongues.

    Close Encounters of the Forked Tongue Kind – John Williams – Mato Tapila (Bad God’s Tower, Devil’s Tower)

    Legends of Devils Tower

    Chief Grey Star Say: Throw ’em FTPTB (forked tongue powers that be) in the Totem Woods

    White man’s version of Kiowa Rock Tree Legend

  31. I suspect most small communities have the more recent combination of volunteer/government fire/rescue/EMT establishment. It’s not a business, it is funded by a combination of donations, fees and taxes, and it is usually “controlled” by a combination of state, county and local politicians and bureaucrats, mostly fighting behind the scenes for a bigger piece of the pie. The “fire” folks here are not responsible for any “codes” on buildings, only city planners, because only actual incorporated cities (few) have any real building or safety “codes” out here.

    The sort-of volunteer fire departments are also of very little use to anyone outside the towns, because the distances simply make it impossible for any help to arrive fast enough to do any good. In the county, we’re pretty much on our own.

    Our volunteer firemen/rescue/EMT folks do work hard, with long hours in training and other activities that are not compensated. They hold fund raisers and solicit donations, maintain their aging equipment carefully, and are generally some of the best folks in the community. They don’t have the “or else” power themselves.

    I watched this volunteer fire department function when my next door neighbor’s house burned down. They were here in an amazingly short time, though I’m outside the town limits. The man who lived in the house was a well known drunk, and he fell asleep in bed with a cigarette. He died in that fire – burned horribly… and I watched the young volunteer EMT people bring him out. They were incredibly professional about it, but also obviously horrified and sick over it. So yeah, at least these folks can claim a bit of the “hero” label from me.

    The “fire” item on my property tax bill very small. I’d much rather pay that than the bloated obscenity that is the “schools” portion of the tax bill. And, of course, I’d much rather all of it was a matter of private enterprise and voluntary association. In the meantime, I donate whenever I can manage it.

    • I’m surprised to read this: “The “fire” item on my property tax bill very small. I’d much rather pay that than… ” It sounds like the reasoning other people make for the rule the cops have over people and the authority the cops presume. And, an example of giving authority?

      Seems to me even the rural volunteer firemen have the “or else” power themselves, they just don’t exercise it?

      Or they do, sometimes, and people are ok with it?

      “a small fire in a single apartment. The firemen […] prohibited me from using the stairwell to get to my room, even though the fire was nowhere near that area of the building. So I nodded my head in deep agreement that we must put “safety first,” then went up a different stairwell which they had failed to seal off. The reader can imagine my surprise when I found my roommate sound asleep, completely ignorant of the fire. It was apparently hazardous for me to return to my room, but unnecessary to alert those already in the rooms of the fire.” … from, Why Don’t Firefighters Get a Bad Rap?

      • I was very clear that I would much prefer to have all services, including the fire department, be free enterprise and fully voluntary. Since that is not now the case, I do not find the small amount on my tax bill to be unreasonable, especially compared to the insane amount now given to the “school” system. In any case, giving the fire department more of that tax money, or more “power” to control people, is certainly not something I want.

        And yes, I do appreciate the men and women who volunteer now, doing the best they can with what they have. Could they do better? Absolutely. All they, or anyone else needs for that, is freedom.

        • If a person cannot say ‘no” to another person or group, such as firefighters, I don’t understand how anyone could ascribe the word ‘hero’ to them. Even if it’s only over nickles and dimes,the inability to say ‘no’ should earn them terms like ‘bully’ and ‘thug’.

          “It took a lot of hard work for the bully to steal my money like a thug, but they used the money to buy something I wanted.I give them money whenever I can so they can do it again and again. Someday maybe they’ll find a way to ask me for the money, but I’ll call them heroes while they take from me. At least they didn’t charge me for their time when they bought what I wanted, they just volunteered to do it. Wasn’t that nice of them?”


          “I gladly pay my taxes for police protection, it’s so worth it compared to all the crimes that would occur without them. It’s such a small amount compared to what the FedGov takes. It’s not a matter of principle at all, it’s the amount that counts.”

          Just the View from here.

          • Nassim Nicholas Taleb
            If your beard is gray, produce heuristics/advice but explain the “why”. If your beard is white, skip the why, just say what should be done.
            Skip the why.

            The great thing about MamaLiberty(a top notch white beard) is she is a sage with clear reasons for everything she advocates. She practices what she preaches. Much of what she advocates already exists where she resides.
            – – –

            Did You Hear About The Morgans – Two New Yorkers who witness a murder are relocated via Witness Protection to Ray, WY. A city very much like Newcastle, Wyoming.

            – – –

            The bad thing about MamaLiberty(white knight fallacy) is she is a bitter-clinger not only to her guns, but also to a questionable philosophy. She insists there exists a Voluntary Elite, angels with better natures to whom we can grant exclusive access to public goods. Dedicated do-gooders who are blameless even though they are paid by the state, and to whom it’s OK to grant special privileges to.

            If only we rid ourselves of this evil government force, then all my neighbors will be as chivalrous as they make themselves out to be. It’s okay for me to rely on my neighbors and even complete strangers, as long as everyone involved has been certified by someone of high regard as being “good people.”

            White Knight Fallacy
            – – –

            Why not just have a special pumps dispersed throughout neighborhoods, where homeowners with access keys can access high water pressure and attach high pressure hoses to fight fires and perform other tasks. Why not ladders, hatchets, and respirators as private property in private homes?

            Why not a hospital clubhouse every few miles, where residents can go and take care of their health issues in their own ways. Buildings that have all the gadgets of today’s state controlled institutions. Families can designate anyone they like as their family health expert. Any man is free to DIY if he so chooses.

            What is the need for mystery cults of healers who are steeped in secret knowledge and rites? Why must we remain subject to overlords who possess secret information they refuse to divulge to mere mundane property owners and private individuals?

          • Tor said: “She insists there exists a Voluntary Elite, angels with better natures to whom we can grant exclusive access to public goods. Dedicated do-gooders who are blameless even though they are paid by the state, and to whom it’s OK to grant special privileges to.”

            And where in the world did you get that idea? You are putting words in my mouth I never even thought of. If I happen to personally know a few people who do a good job, and am glad to help support them – even if they are as trapped in a bad situation as are we all… How does that translate to a universal support of any part of the state criminal operation – or belief in a sainted cadre of perfect beings anywhere?

            No, indeed. Human beings are never going to be anything but human. They will indeed continue to do bad things, to themselves and to each other at times. They will continue to do good things too. Every human being is a combination, and the sum total depends entirely on what they choose. There is no “elite,” anywhere or ever who deserve “special privileges.”

            But there are certainly incentives to behave in a non aggressive manner, so much so that it does happen almost everywhere, most of the time. It is a spontaneous thing, driven by the innate drive in human beings to preserve their own life and increase their own well being. Most people recognize that harming others creates threats to their own best interest, even when they go ahead and choose to do that. And the natural response to those who choose to do harm is to defend themselves, thereby providing incentive to the aggressor to make a different choice – or making it for him in his death. The armed society is a polite society because aggression of any kind might have real life consequences, and impolite words might need to be backed up with serious action.

            The “government” attempts to control and own the people also provide many perverse and even direct incentives to actually increase and perpetuate (real = aggression) crime of all kinds. The “war on drugs” provides a million examples.

            Yet even the most dangerous, crime filled city streets are MOSTLY occupied by ordinary people, going about their ordinary lives and not harming anyone. Even hardened criminals like Obama occasionally do not commit crimes and are good to their children.

            The crime, both free lance and “official,” is actually an aberration, not the norm. Criminals of all kinds compose a very small percentage of the total population at the worst of times. Humans have simply been conditioned to believe, more or less, that this aberration IS the norm, and that some of those criminals have a legitimate “authority” to prey on them. That’s insane, of course, but such is life.

          • Here is what a cool billion dollars spent at LAX since 9-11 for security will get you today:

            Report criticizes LAX shooting response; union calls for armed TSA officers
            Josh Hicks – The Washington Post

            Communications breakdowns and a lack of coordination hindered response efforts during last year’s shooting rampage at Los Angeles International Airport, according to an independent review of the incident. The report, released Tuesday, said paramedics took 33 minutes to reach slain Transportation Security Agency officer Gerardo Hernandez, 39. An autopsy revealed that the federal employee died two to five minutes after being shot. He was the first TSA agent to be killed the line of duty. The American Federation of Government Employees, which represents TSA officers, responded to the report with renewed calls for a new unit of armed TSA officers who could help protect airport checkpoints around the clock.

            So as I read it the hundred or so LAPD cops showed up to look good for 30 minutes, when a simple $300.00 six shooter in the hands of a fat TSA mama would have stopped the criminal?

            Idiocracy and incompetence at tax payer expense abounds at all levels.

            Chances are one trained CCW holder in the airport could have been much more effective then all the clowns together.


    • My state taxes amount to $600. yearly yet my “school” taxes are 3x times that amount. I have no school aged children yet am mandated to pay that ever rising extortion for the rest of my life. This in the face of a dead/dying/decrepit school system that does not teach.

      • JoePA – I’m in the same boat, literally. The “school tax” on “my” premises is about $1700 a year. I have no school aged children. We homeschooled our son and I attended private school growing up. My wife did attend public school, but not in this state. The real estate tax is nothing more than rent, the bulk of which the county uses to “teach” the next generation of tax slaves “you gotta pay yer taxes.” And for anyone who is under any illusion of it not being rent, don’t pay “your” real estate tax and see what happens. Eventually men with guns will show up, run you off “your” land (or kill you if you resist) and sell “your” land to the highest bidder for the back taxes. Is this a great system or what?

        • The U.S. was never “unowned” in the sense you could stake a claim to a plot a land and thereafter be the sovereign ruler. To state otherwise is Libertarian fantasy.

          • Gil, the fish from Nemo, wrote, “The U.S. was never “unowned” in the sense you could stake a claim to a plot a land and thereafter be the sovereign ruler.”

            I can see why eric deletes your posts.

            Ya. At one time, you could stake a claim to a plot a land and thereafter be the sovereign ruler.

            You should pick up a history book. Even the establishment history books acknowledge such.

            In the meantime, consider this, it’s one of my favorites:

            The Culture of Violence in the American West: Myth versus Reality


          • “Sovereign ruler”?

            That’s your construction, Gil.

            But owner? Certainly.

            A man could, indeed, acquire a piece of land – and it was his, period. There were no eternal taxes to be paid. The land – if duly bought and paid for – was legally his. No other person – or government – had legal claim to it.

            That’s the thing you miss here.

      • Ditto.

        We have no children, so we impose no costs on the local government schools yet we’re obliged – if we wish to keep “our” house – to hand over about $1,500 every year so that other people’s kids can be indoctrinated and so that other people can live at our expense doing the indoctrinating.

        Sex is a voluntary act. Those who choose to have sex – assuming they do so without recourse to birth control – are responsible for the consequences of having sex; i.e., children.

        You broke it – you bought it is accepted as reasonable by most people. Why not, you created it – you feed (house and educate) it?

        • Except that isn’t even the question, Eric. The problem isn’t the children or who has them. The problem is the theft. Period. Stop the theft, and the rest becomes unavoidable.

          • Not to put too fine a point on it, which theft are you referring to?
            The money?
            Or your children?

            (Acknowledging you don’t have children in school at this point – but the theft of young minds should earn them a VERY special place in hell.)

          • Jean, there really isn’t any difference. Aggression is aggression.

            The most far reaching, long damaging and intractable theft is that of the knowledge of self ownership, of sovereignty of the individual. That, of course, goes back thousands of years and won’t be changed quickly or soon.

            Preventing the abduction, incarceration, indoctrination and subjugation of our children is truly our number one job.

        • I’ll do you one better, Eric. we pay for the local government schools via our property taxes, and then as homeschoolers we turn around and buy our own curriculum! Our children are tested every three years to make sure they are ‘keeping up’ with the government-educated crowd, and if we fall short in that area, we run the risk of being investigated. Meanwhile , the government school, armed with fistfuls of my confiscated money, cranks out illiterate after illiterate on my dime.

          • I hear you, Mike –

            It’s outrageous all around.

            You’re double-dunned, which is bad enough – but the first dunning (to “help” finance the government schools) is used to indoctrinate the children of your neighbors, in order to create the next generation of (to borrow Lenin’s term) useful idiots. If, at least, these kids were actually educated… taught to think... it might be less obnoxious.

            I feel bad for the kids as it’s not their fault – they are victims, too.

            But one day, inevitably, they will become adults – and many will vote for more of the same.

            I’m glad your kids are not among that number!

          • Bravo for you Michael! I empathize since we went through the same thing you are going through when we home schooled. But it was well worth spending the money on and being able to control our own curriculum. Before it was over with my son was not only well educated in math, English, history, science, logic and geography, but we actually taught him critical thinking as part of his curriculum. Because he heard the same three words (“Look it up”) that I did when I was young and asked questions and we provided the resources for him to do so, he became highly autodidactic.

            The last “standardized test” (Iowa Test of Basic Skills) he took, he scored 96th percentile. As I recall at the time, the average publik skule student scored well below the 50th. Surprise, surprise. Our tax dollars at work. He is now a Liberty minded free thinker who rides a motorcycle, carries a gun and is suspicious of government at every level. And I am pleased to say Clover would despise him. 😉

    • MamaLiberty – Around here we have rural “membership” fire departments staffed by volunteers. It’s not a true free market solution, but it’s close. If you want their services you pay an annual fee of $75 for a single family dwelling. It’s about twice that for a business IIRC. No one is under any obligation to join or compelled to pay a tax for it.

      Even if you don’t join, if you have a fire they will probably show up anyway. But only to contain it so it won’t spread to the paying members’ neighboring properties. They are under no obligation to do other than that. My former neighbors found this out the hard way when their barn, with two tractors and some other farm equipment in it caught fire. I was told the property owner had his check book in hand, telling the F.D. members to name their price. To their credit they told him no, he should have thought about supporting them before he had the fire. They let it burn to the ground and left after they were sure it wouldn’t spread.

      I see this in the same vein as homeowners insurance; if you don’t want it and feel there’s insufficient risk for any potential reward, great, don’t buy it. But if you have a fire, tornado, theft, etc. then pay out of your own pocket. Don’t expect the rest of us to pony up tax money to bail you out.

      Frankly I’d like to see the sheriff’s department run in the same fashion, all volunteer and membership funded. If there was a real problem, the sheriff could organize a posse and enlist the services of the community to resolve it like they used to. There’s no real need for a massive full time “professional” law enforcement staff in most rural areas. Do away with the utterly ridiculous war on drugs, repeal the forfeiture statutes, force the “authoritaes” to respect the Bill of Rights and it would be perfectly doable once again.

      • Absolutely, Boothe! That’s the way it should be. And, if we can ever manage to stop the theft, that’s the way it will have to be. Until then, we just do the best we can with what we have. But no matter what, this will probably never be perfectly done all the time, everywhere. Human beings will not stop being human. 🙂

        Utopia is not an option…

      • “To their credit they told him no, he should have thought about supporting them before he had the fire. They let it burn to the ground and left after they were sure it wouldn’t spread”

        I don’t see where it was to their credit not to put out the fire. They should have done so and sent the property owner a bill. Of course, the fire deparment doesn’t have to put out the fire since they can chose who they can refuse service to. However, not putting out the fire puts the heat on the fire department in my opinion. It reflects that the fire deparment is a gang of thugs that wants to make an example of someone that refuses their diktat. Don’t pay and we’ll show up and watch your house burn to the ground.

        Now you say they were there to keep the fire from spreading but from spreading to where? It was a barn fire and most farms i’ve ever been around (raised in Wisconsin) the barn is no where near another property owner’s land. Also, as a rule most barns are well away from any housing to reduce the possiblity of the fire spreading. My take on the FD showing up was to inflict mental anguish on the property owner. If I owned the property and they showed up but refused to put the fire out i’d order them off the property. If they refused, I’d then have them charged with criminal trespass.

        You wouldn’t be relating about a instance that occurred in Tennessee are you? I’ve read that a fire department in Tennessee did the same thing. They arrived and watched the house burn to the ground. However, there are allegations the FD set the fire on the home owners property and did so again after the building was repaired.

        Also, as much as I hate insurance, should it not be the insurance company that pays for the services of the fire department anyway. It is in their best interest to have them save what they can. The reason I can’t stand insurance companies is due to the fact they bribe the stooges with the goonberment to make the laws work to the insurance companies favor (this is known as stacking the deck in gambling parlance. Which, of course. insurance is). Hence, the reason there is compulsory auto insurance and now health insurance but to top it all off the home owner’s insurance racket has you paying for fire protection separate from forking over to them the premium for insurance. If you and I did that we’d be in jail.

        David Ward

        • No, David Ward, it was Missouri. We have a lot of pasture, row crops and we are on the edge of the great plains so there is plenty of wind. A summer grass fire here, especially over the past few years due to the drought, can spread very quickly. Depending on when it happens the neighbors could lose their whole hay crop or a lot of row crops. That’s why containing it is important. This isn’t Wisconsin.

          The FD is all volunteer. There’s no diktat. If you want to join, great. If you don’t want to join that’s fine too. But I see no problem with them letting your stuff burn if you aren’t a member. Freedom is a bitch sometimes. I’ve lived most of my life in the country. I’ve seen other people’s houses / shops / barns burn to the ground even when the rural FD did their best to put it out. And yes, I’m a member of the FD. But I also have an operable well independent from the rural water system, I have smoke detectors and fire extinguishers all over my house and in my shop buildings. If you live out in the sticks, be prepared or prepare to be sorry.

          My former neighbor didn’t believe it could happen to him. He wasn’t prepared and made the conscious choice not to join. He lost that bet. That is no one’s fault but his own. Telling the volunteer firemen of the local membership FD they HAVE TO put out his fire and then bill him (which he probably wouldn’t pay) is ludicrous. If he was all that concerned (since I know he wasn’t hurting for money), he would have joined. He didn’t. Tough.

          As far as making the insurance companies pay for fire insurance goes, they won’t. Even if there were a law that they had to, that cost would simply be added to your premium. The insurance mafia is going to turn a buck no matter what, because as you already appear to know, they use the law and the gun-vernment to their advantage. You and I will pay no matter what. What we really need is a free market for insurance across state lines with as little gun-vernment involvement as possible. Will it be perfect. No; humans are involved. But free market policies won’t be any worse than the mercantilism (crony capitalism) we currently suffer under.

          And by the way, the insurance company did pay off on my neighbors’ barn and equipment, so he ended up with a nicer building than what he had to start with and got a better price on his property when he sold, so he won that bet.

          • Insurance companies already factor everyone’s neighborhood for fire suppression resources when they give you a quote. It is a number system based on the minutes away you are from their stations and equipment response times. Most fire agencies try to get good numbers by increasing the number of stations built, staffing and rolling equipment in the bay.

            Ha, can’t wait to see the “we accept PayPal and Visa” logos on the rig’s door as they roll up to Mr. Jones’ burning barn.

        • David Ward, it’s a business. If the firefighters had allowed that guy to pay only when he needed them, everyone else would do the same, and then they’d have no income and have to shut down. A kind of Tragedy of the commons kind of thing.
          Why buy the cow if the milk is free?

          I’ve been to Wisconsin, many barns are next to fields (just like where I’m from) – and fields burn – often the fire jumps from one farmers lot to the next. So there’s your answer as to, “keep the fire from spreading but from spreading to where?”

          You say, “as a rule most barns are well away from any housing”.
          That’s not been my observation, seems to me, most barns are clustered right next to other bars and a farmhouse. Throw in some dry grass and that fire could jump real quick. Or maybe all it takes is some hot coals drifting through the air?

          I do agree with you about the fascist crony insurance racket.

          • Hmmm….

            “David Ward, it’s a business. If the firefighters had allowed that guy to pay only when he needed them, everyone else would do the same, and then they’d have no income and have to shut down. A kind of Tragedy of the commons kind of thing.”

            Isn’t that what people usually do? Pay for services when they need them? I mean i don’t have a subscription for the paper i buy one when i need it. I don’t have a subscription for lawn services, I pay them when i need them. So if the FD wants to be a business, and I presume they do since they charge a subscription for their services, why can’t they perform the work on a per incident basis and then charge the property owner?

            Also, like I said after the FD allowed any property to burn and not help to put out the fire, I wouldn’t trust them even if i was a subscriber. They have already let it be known if you are not in their good graces you will suffer their wrath. Nope, the choice between letting my property burn and a gun to the head by the state aka FD. I will always chose to let it burn.

            • Hi David,

              I apply the Libertarian Occam’s Razor to this and all such questions: Is force applied – or not?

              If the FD offers – and you are free to accept or not, without being threatened either way – then everything’s cool.

              My hope is that one day, people will learn to live on that basis – and not on the basis of violence.

          • Is it true you can only buy a newspaper because the newspaper company already has subscribers to keep the business afloat? Without the subscriptions, the newspaper company couldn’t afford to offer the paper for sale on an individual basis?

            The same is likely true of lawn service providers, they rely on subscribers of a verbal agreement. Their services are in a greater demand on a regular basis, so unlike the FD they can stay in business without requiring a subscription from everyone, and hope a verbal subscription results from the one time service request.

            Cable TV is similar. Most companies couldn’t afford to offer the service without subscriptions. Some companies have found a way to offer pay-per-view and still make a profit. So there can be exceptions. But most (all?) cable is only available with a subscription, and the service is dependent on other subscribers. If they all offered pay-per-view for all their content they would likely go bankrupt.

            I already explained why the FD cannot perform the work on a per incident basis and then charge the property owner, once word got out that was the case, everybody would do it too and the FD couldn’t stay in business when there were no fires. Without subscriptions, people would scream it’s extortion or hyway robbery if the FD charged enough to put out a fire on the spot to cover operating costs and to make a profit.

            Also, think of it on a personal level. You offer to help someone if they have a problem. They respond, “I don’t need or want your stinkin’ help!” But then they call you at midnight wanting your help. Would you? Most, would not, imho.

          • Well, the paper and lawn services mention were two just off the top of my head. You can see people get on demand services from many sectors of the economy all without subscriptions. I am sure there are lawn services here in Memphis that offer subscriptions, but most are service on demand. I remember doing service on demand when I was a kid and I made good money mowing lawns.

            BTW, there is a place here that offers watch, phone and tablet repair all on demand by the way, no subscription necessary.

            I’m looking at Fire Protection offered as it should be on the Free Market and not at the point of a gun. If the owner refused to pay at the time the service is rendered it would be one thing but he didn’t and the goons with the FD just watched his property burn. Why show up at all? After all, if the victim wasn’t part of their subscription service they had NO obligation to be there, period. It is my opinion they wanted to rub their refusal in his face loud and clear.

            Another note to mention is if the FD was a real business and not a pretend one (I am presuming they are trying to act like a business since they demand a subscription) they’d find services other than actual firefighting to pay the bread and butter bills. One thing that strikes me as peculiar is no actual business owner would turn down reasonable opportunities to make a profit yet this FD did just that. Isn’t that strange for a supposed business? Not to mention the good will they lost for acting as they did.

            I’m sure Mister Farmer, who was the victim of this action, will probably never bother with calling them again (especially since the victim’s insurance company ponied up the moola to rebuild). I know I wouldn’t.

            On a side note, after your mention that the farmer wound up with a better barn and equipment, thanks to the non-efforts of the local FD, if I lived in the area, I’d probably end my subscription. I’d rely on the Insurance Company to honor their contract with me and pony up the funds to rebuild. After all I’m forced to buy the insurance coverage by the mortgage holder. Why be held at ransom by any association of thugs? Then just maybe it might teach those thugs a lesson in market economics. That being, you can offer subscription AND on demand services. There are always people willing to pay for both subscription and on demand services.

            The message I get from that FD is FU if you don’t cow tow to our demands.

            My two cents as it were…

            David Ward

            • Hi David,

              Fire protection is basically a form of insurance. In other words, there is a ratio of potential loss (a destructive fire) to certain loss (if you pay the premium – or the tax). You weigh the potential loss – how likely is it that there’ll be a fire ? – against the sure thing of agreeing to pay for the protection.

              Assuming it is a voluntary choice, there will be pressure on the issuer of the insurance/protection to keep costs within reason. This, in turn, will incline more people to sign up.

              And the reverse.

              I’ll give you a related example:

              Home insurance is still optional (assuming you own your home). We do, so when our premium jumped to a level that seemed absurd to us given our very low risk profile for a catastrophic loss, we simply cancelled the policy.

              Had the premium stayed reasonable, we’d have kept it.

              I think most people in any given area would freely pay a reasonable annual fee for “just in case” fire protection. Why? Because it would make sense. Just as I would happily – and freely – pay say $400 a year for a “catastrophic loss” home insurance policy with a very high deductible. But I ain’t paying $1,200 a year for their “best we can do” policy, with a maximum $10,000 deductible, for “coverage” the odds tell me I will very likely never need.

              The problem, as I see it, with almost all forms of mandatory insurance – which includes FD protection at gunpoint (via coercive taxation) – is that tilts the risk/cost ratio to a point that you’re simply being fleeced for “coverage” you would never buy at that price point if left to your own devices.

          • David Ward, you made good money mowing lawns, were every one of those lawns owned by different people, or were a lot of them, or all of them, repeat business, a.k.a. a verbal subscription of a service on demand variety? I would bet they were. A lawn mowing business usually depends upon repeat business. Most do. As far as I can tell.

            I agree that Fire Protection should be based upon the Free Market model and not at the point of a gun. I’m not suggesting otherwise. I’m just saying that the business model a watch, phone or tablet repair business operates on does not work for a Fire Protection service, imho.
            If the Fire Protection service employees and the owners had to find services to provide other than actual firefighting to pay the bread and butter bills, that would indicate their business model is flawed and they might be properly called, bad businessmen. Not only that, imagine calling for the Fire Protection service you’ve paid for only to be told you’ll have to wait as they are knee deep in the mud in some back-40 working as a farmer in order to pay the bills.

            Instant-on, has a price. Sometimes it’s more than just money.

            You asked why, “the FD just watched his property burn. Why show up at all?” I imagine they showed up in case anyone was in mortal danger, I imagine then they might lend a hand, but for property? I can see why they’d stand aside.
            It seems to me you severely discount the power and effect that ripples when people can find out they don’t have to pay for a subscription (to a free market service) and instead only pay on demand. Again, why buy the cow if the milk is free? Sure, you can offer subscription AND on demand services, but you might go broke doing so. What then?

            There are Not always people willing to work for both subscription and on demand services.

            You might not want to pony up for a free market subscription Fire Protection service, but your insurance company might. And then we’d be back at the early beginnings of firefighting history?

          • I think much of the discussion of subscription vs. paid by call vs. tax funded misses an important historic fact. Well into the 20th century many communities had true volunteer departments, supported only by donations and dues and the occasional insurance company reward or bounty for saving one of their customers buildings. In my area fire companies were formed and disbanded based on need. The government had no hand in this, people got together, solicited voluntary funding for equipment and manned the trucks without compensation. The last one like that around here was formed in 1932, after that government got involved. It was decided that for “the public good” only government authorized departments could exist. It wasn’t long before some “basic needs” of the fire department appeared on tax bills, the rest is history. If the government disappeared tomorrow I think there would be plenty of people willing to fight fires without fees, subscriptions, etc.. and likewise there would be plenty of people willing to chip in money to keep it going.

          • Eric,

            I understand your point as it were. I was faced with a situation similar to yours with Allstate. I had homeowners with them when I purchased my home due to the cost/benefit ratio they offered. However, after the first year, the premium doubled. Then the second year the premium increased by 50%. Now my insurance is part of my house payment through escrow services (this is a requirement of my loan and yes it is a VA loan). I contacted Allstate and told then no way, found someone less expensive with equivalent coverage then contacted the mortgage company and had them send the bill to the new insurer. I voted with my feet so to speak. However, part of my coverage is fire casualty. So I’m already paying for fire protection as it were. I absolutely refuse to pay a second entity merely to mitigate the loses of the insurance company or what they may be liable for. It seems to me it would be in the best interest for the insurance companies to foot the bill for professionals that fight fires. However, if I’m forced to pay for insurance and also for the fire fighters I’m in the same double dipping boat as a person that pays a private school and for public schools with the point of the gun extraction of property.

            If I were in your situation I’d probably find insurance that allowed you to tailor your coverage so you could buy a subscription for professional fire fighting services. say Rental Property coverage that only covers the house and not the contents. Shrug..I can’t presume to know your financial or otherwise situation.


            One of the reasons I usually lurk and not post to comment sections is due to the fact it is nigh near impossible to convince a person of an alternate standpoint of view once the other person has their mind made up.

            I am nearly 62 years old and use to frequent the political chat rooms of EFNet and Yahoo. During that tenure, I learned early, it was of no use to make valid points to individuals that refuse to consider them.

            When I was a child, it was plausible for me to cruise neighborhoods daily during the summer with the mower strapped to the back of my bike and canvas them for opportunities. Some became repeat customers merely due to the excellent service i offered. Some did not. AT NO time did i ever state I’d only work via subscription. That would have been, basically, idiotic on my part.

            In today’s freakazoid society, I would not allow my son to do what I routinely did. To many perverts (LGBT or otherwise) running loose as it were.

            But make no mistake, a business that refuses to cater to a willing paying customer isn’t in my opinion a real business but a political agenda in sheep’s clothing.

            I agree with Tor on this aspect, the collectivist mind set that has been inculcated by the state and its minions is hard to reject. Even small facets appear in people that normally would be mostly anti collective or state.

            One thing i really liked about the film, The Matrix, was the fact that the system could take over any person’s body at any time it desired. In essence, the film is warning you that people, even those not visibly part of the system, should be regarded as your possible enemy. This is evident in one of Eric’s other post where granny (doesn’t she look innocent in that rocking chair??) urges a “pitiful on the road to brainwashing” 9 year old to become literally Agent Smith to battle the bad guy drivers.

            It is hard to accept the consequences of taking the pill against the system. It is easy to go along to get along. Most people are willing to do it. Some people say I go to the extreme to do it. To whit: I drive the speed limit not because the government says to. I do so to deprive the government of a revenue stream. I stop at traffic signals for the same reason. I do everything I can and go out of my way to deprive the state of any excuse to steal more of my property. This is not submitting to authority but refusal to fork over more property to the state. I do this knowing soon the governments all over the united States will soon forced to be openly blatant about their thievery and when the sheep see the sledge hammer racing toward their head I am hoping they will revolt and scatter. This may happen, it may not.

            It is my opinion the people of the united States will go the same direction the people that lived under the totalitarian regimes of the USSR and China. I have no preconceptions that people in the uS are any different from people anywhere in the world. For crying out loud, most of the people in the uS are descendants of people from the rest of the world! So I see no so called American exceptionalism at work here.

            My position can be viewed strictly from an anarchist stand and I have to work and work hard to keep my thoughts and mind to that track. As I said before, 25 years of being in the Matrix is hard to unlearn and I still have to work at it at 61 years of age. Liberty requires it, no actually Liberty demands it.


            • Hi David,

              I agree with your solution (and chafe also at your being “double dipped”).

              Again, I have no issue whatsoever with insurance of any sort, provided one is free to contract or not contract.

              With regard to home/fire: If one has paid for the home (owes the lender nothing) then one has, in my opinion, an absolute right to assume the risk of a fire or other catastrophe if one decides that the cost of insurance (this includes fire protection) isn’t justified by the probability of loss.

              I was able to take this decision with regard to home insurance, because (for now) it’s still legal for me to do so. Home insurance is one of the few remaining forms of insurance we’re not forced to buy provided one owns his place free and clear. (I have no issue with home – or fire – insurance – being required when one applies for a home loan. This is not force. One chooses to assume a debt and until one has paid off the debt, the lien holder has every right to require as a term of the loan that the property be insured.)

              The insurance co. wanted $1,200 annually – and that was with a large deductible. I did some rough math. If I pay this premium for the next 25 years, I’ll have paid out $30,000 – and that assumes no rise in premiums during that time and also does not factor in the opportunity cost of the lost $30k.

              How likely is it that, over the next 30 years, my home will suffer $30k in damages?

              Virtually nil.

              I cancelled the policy. I’d rather put that $30k to a rotisserie resto of my Trans-Am or other things.

              I’d consider paying perhaps $300 a year for a catastrophic coverage policy – with a $10k deductible – that would cover a total loss. That strikes me as a reasonable investment. But of course, they don’t offer such – because it doesn’t make them enough money.

          • Dear Helot,

            What I think is the root of the problem is Soviet American thinking.

            Imagine an isolated small town of 50 households near an active volcano thousands of miles from any other town or people.

            The only building material available is wood. Ash from the volcano is a common occurrence, the average home catches on fire twice a year

            A business man arrives with some equipment and opens up a fire service business. He decides he will only offer services 6 days a week, never on sabbath. Also he only wants 10 customers, and charges 10% of the value of the home as a one time up front annual payment.

            The rational capitalist mind would see this as great news. Perhaps once this business does well, another businessman will appear and want to take on more customers, and alwo work on the sabbath.

            The Soviet minds are outraged at this. They demand he be shunned. They hire a lawyer from far away to sue this man into protecting everyone’s home every day.

            A month after he arrives a young boy dies in a fire in a home that wanted to purchase coverage, but was denied.

            The townspeople beg to use his equipment to save the boy, the man says no, and doesn’t leave his home.

            The Soviet townspeople ask their sheriff to charge this businessman with negligent homicide.

            To my mind, systems can be bad, fair, or good, and they are hard to overthrow or to improve upon. What is infinitely easier, is to stop being a Soviet minded townsman, and to encourage others to do the same.

          • @ Tor Libertarian. Lets continue with the scenario that you have presented: One guy decides to be the paid firefighter for only 10 households at a cost of 10% of the value of the home per year. I understand the points that you are trying to make, but nobody owning a $200.000 house would pay $20,000 per year for fire protection.
            It is my opinion that we as individual-liberty loving people should get into the habit of stressing that we can’t predict the choices that groups of individuals might freely make in a given neighborhood.
            We can, however, present some possible choices that a town or community might use.
            For example: If this present gunvernment tyranny suddenly ended. then people would group together in communities to resolve such issues as fire protection. If the median cost for fire protection within the community was $100 per month; then perhaps many of the people would choose to install a ceiling, roof, and yard edge sprinkler system along with automatic electrical circuit disconnects for a one time price of $2000.
            People in other communities may choose to have all guys take turns in being on stand-by for fire emergencies. Yet other neighborhoods may choose to have non-flammable buildings similar to our many concrete and steel factory buildings.
            I think that we should reply to questions biased toward specific large centralised solutions by bursting that fallacy, because if we seriously explain to them the solutions that we have in our non-statists minds, then it will appear to them that we wish to replace the present entrenched cabal with our own.

    • The “fire” item on my property tax bill very small. I’d much rather pay that than the bloated obscenity that is the “schools” portion of the tax bill. And, of course, I’d much rather all of it was a matter of private enterprise and voluntary association. In the meantime, I donate whenever I can manage it.

      Ditto. Out here in our rural district, the only “service” that provides even a remotely tangible benefit to us is the local VFD and as in your case, it’s the smallest funding item on our property tax bill. If everything else they soak us for were rolled over into fire protection (especially what they rob us of in order to fund the disgracefully awful publik skoolz in these parts), I probably would almost gladly part with the money.

    • Mama Liberty, I agree with a lot of what you wrote. I have a small community perspective that differs drastically from the city perspective. I am a 30 year volunteer fireman in a small village in a small rural county in Central Nebraska. Our Fire and Rescue department is 100% volunteer. We are on call 24/7/365. We train constantly. I feel like I am on Red Alert all time because my pager can go off anytime no matter what I am doing. Our service many times cost us financially, physically, and emotionally as we miss work, sleep, and time with our families.

      Although this benefit to our community cost us, we do not consider ourselves “Heroes”. Many of us consider our usefulness as our reasonable Christian duty to our fellow citizens, which in fact are our friends, neighbors, and acquaintances. We just do our best to help people and protect their property. We are not on some power trip to “lord” it over people. We have no authority to enforce fire codes. We do block and reroute traffic at the fire and rescue scene if necessary for our safety, the public’s safety, and to allow emergency vehicles access to the scene. We did not cause the situations that we respond to. We just try to make a bad situation better.

      Our County is divided into fire districts and a very small tax is assessed on property owners. We have to spend some more of our time on fund raisers so we can provide needed equipment. We have mutual aid districts so we can pool our resources with other departments. We use a lot of old equipment that the Military has given to the Forestry Department which then makes it available to our department at a small lease cost.

      As far as the school districts share of taxes it seems like that is a sacred cow that cannot be touched. I served eight years on our local school board. We would have a budget meeting to discuss a eight million dollar budget and not have one member of the public attend. We would have an item on the agenda about eliminating a sport and we would have to move the meeting to the cafeteria to accommodate over a hundred people who wanted to tar and feather us.

      As far as law enforcement we don’t hate on our officers, we respect what they do and how they do it. The Sheriff would be voted out of office if he had power trip tyrants working for him. At night, when seconds matter our Sheriff’s deputy could be multiple minutes away on the other side of the County. That is why one of the deputies teaches concealed carry classes and why he ends his eight hour session by stating that if he ever see’s us on a traffic stop we better have our weapon with us with a round in the chamber.

  32. Most firefighters in the country are strictly unpaid volunteers and as such deserve our credit in donating their time and sacrifice. The joke is Eric mentioning the grossly overpaid FDNY of which earn about $150,000. The bigger joke is that 9 out of 10 FDNY retire and get a tax free disability then move on to even better careers. Hero’s are people who go out of their way to help someone, not someone paid to do that exact same thing.

  33. Good post Eric, a few years ago 2 Boston firefighters died in a restaurant fire, and their families actually sued the restaurant owner (as if it was his fault)! Turns out autopsy results showed both “heroes” had way over the limit blood alcohol, and one of them also had evidence of cocaine use. Well that little factoid got buried by the lamestream press faster than you can say “intoxicated” and never was heard again. Sorry for their families, but it was their own damn fault for doing dangerous work while wasted. My former job involved close proximity to high voltage, and if you were drunk or hungover you had the good sense to call in sick rather than endanger yourself or your coworkers.
    There are lots of dangerous jobs out there, but I guess you have to wear a costume and badge to be annoited as a hero by the state. Screw them.

    • Mike,
      please clarify: This sounds like the firefighters were there, and tried to help. Meaning, they weren’t on official business during “on duty” hours.

      Is that the case?

      ‘Cause of they came to work hammered, all bets (and liabilities by anyone, save PERHAPS a supervisor who observed them for a while before the call) should be off!
      And if the Super was only there for a few minutes – even if they were falling down drunk, there shouldn be no liability. You need to talk to people, see the whole picture, or you can’t tell they’re drunk instead of goofing around. You walk into the firehouse to drain your hose, you may not even see them – so no liability. If you’re holding a meeting and the call comes in after an hour? You should’ve noticed. And then kept them off the response.

      Just need that clarification.

  34. firefighters weren’t always a “service” either, they originated as employees of insurance companies. their purpose was simple, save the insurance company money by extinguishing fires and avoiding a total loss for the buildings insured by said insurance company.
    it was deemed too important and became part of the “public sector”, yay us (sigh)….

  35. Eric,

    These are not the same firemen that are familiar to me? 😉

    Fair point about forcing people to pay for services they might not need/want. This is especially true when one needs to consider the cost for the product/service.

    Cost of a product/service is often a consideration when one needs to watch their expenses. Cost is a factor in determining the value of the product/service.